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Countdown to Arizona Diamondbacks Opening Day: D-51, Josh Thole

It it just me, or does Thole look a bit like Chris Pratt?

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Toronto Blue Jays John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

We asked you to rank the 40-man roster along with the 16 non-roster invitees to spring training, and every day between now and the eve of Opening Day, we’ll have a profile of one of those Diamondbacks.

D minus 51: Josh Thole

  • Date of birth: October 28, 1986
  • Ht/Wt: 6’1”, 205 lbs
  • Position: Catcher
  • Status: Non-roster invitee
  • Bats/Throws: L/R
  • 2016 MLB numbers: with Blue Jays, .169/.254/.220 in 50 games, 136 PA
  • SnakePit Rating: 2.83 [pattern of votes below]

The first of this countdown to see any action in 2016, but among the 400 position players to appear in at least 50 games last season, he had the lowest OPS, at .474. That wasn’t an aberration. Over four years in Toronto, it was below .500 all but one season, with his overall average exactly at the Uecker Line, giving him an .522 OPS in 170 games. There have been worse hitters over that time - Jose Molina (.516), Brendan Ryan (.509) and Leury Garcia (.462) - but I think it’s safe to say that Josh has not been employed by the D-backs for his bat. Nor will it be in the role he largely served for Toronto: as R.A. Dickey’s personal catcher, since the knuckler is now with Atlanta.

Indeed, it’s a bit hard to say why we signed him at all, since after the arrival of Hank Conger, he’s likely sixth on our catchers’ depth chart. If he appears at the major-league level for the Diamondbacks this year, something very strange - and probably not a good kind of strange - has likely happened. As with some of our other minor league deals, there may well be an opt-out clause if the player gets to the end of spring training, and wants to pursue alternative employment. One random factoid about Thole: he doesn’t use walk-up music. Find out why, and various other nuggets concerning him, in the video below.

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