Former Jay, Mariner, Diamondback, Dodger, Ray, Giant, Padre, Astro....I'm sure I'm missing someone, right Red Sox, Jose Cruz, Jr turns 38 today.
Jose was a good player but never became the star we figured he'd be. Considering we picked him up, from the Mariners, for a couple of middle reliever types, Mike Timlin and Paul Spoljaric, he did pretty well for us. He was a 30/30 guy in 2001, with 34 homers and 32 steals, then the next year he dropped to 18 homers and 7 steals.
He had a decent eye at the plate, he took 102 walks, in 2003, with the Giants, but he never hit for as high an average as we expected and he never had the consistent power that we hoped would develop. Two seasons or 30+ homers and then back to the 18 to 20 level for the rest of his career as a full time player.
He had the blood lines, his father, Jose Cruz, was a great player for the Houston Astros, back in the Astrodome days.
Junior finished his career with 204 home runs, 624 RBI, 113 steals, and a .247/.337/.445 line. A pretty good , but not great, and we were expecting great.
Curtis Thigpen turns 29 today. Thigpen was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2004 draft and was one in the long line of 'catchers of the future' who really didn't turn out for us. He played 47 games, with a .238/.294/.287 line, in 2007 and then 10 games in 2008, for the Jays. He was picked up by the A's in March of 2009 and released by them in April of 2010 and, as best I can tell, has been out of baseball since.
Happy Birthday to both, hope you each have a great one.