Sunday, August 29, 2010
2003 Upper Deck Prospect Premieres, Justin James
#40 Justin James
Here is a card that I got signed at the Wichita Wingnuts preseason game I went to. Justin was playing with the Kansas City T-Bones at the time. I got lucky when I got this card signed since I didn't even know what number Justing was. He came out of the clubhouse in a Blue Jays pullover, so I called out his name and he looked over and I asked him for his autograph. But, if it wasn't for the Jays pullover, I might not have got this card signed.
Justin was drafted by the Blue Jays in the 2003 draft. By 2007, he was in AAA. After that season, the Jays traded him to the Reds to complete an earlier deal. He only pitched in 22 games in 2008 and he must have had some injuries since he threw in rookie, high-A, and AA. After that, he got released and he found himself in the Northern League last season with the T-Bones.
He must have had a lights-out spring with the T-Bones because the Oakland A's signed him to a minor league deal before the Northern League's season began. He has been doing really well in the A's organization. He posted a 2.29 ERA in 12 AA outings before being called up to AAA. With the Sacramento River Cats, he has a 1.50 ERA through 15 appearances while racking up four saves. He is even averaging 13 strikeouts per nine innings with them. That's not too bad for a former indy leaguer. I hope that he can keep it up and find himself on a Major League roster one day. It would be fun to see him pitch on TV and then tell everyone that I got his autograph at a Wingnut game.