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John Jaso

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John Edward Jaso
(The Cult Hero)

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[edit] Biographical Information

Catcher John Jaso was selected by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the 12th round of the 2003 amateur draft. He was signed by scout Craig Weissmann and began his pro career with the Hudson Valley Renegades that summer.

Jaso was regularly used as the Rays' leadoff hitter during 2010, a rarity for a catcher in today's game. He was not the prototypical lead-off man, given his lack of outstanding speed, but manager Joe Maddon liked his ability to draw walks and get on base, setting the table for the sluggers who followed in the Rays' line-up that season. He got to play semi-regularly, hitting .263 in 109 games with a .372 on-base percentage, as Kelly Shoppach and Dioner Navarro both hit below .200. Shoppach hit even worse in 2011, but Jaso also saw his batting average and on-base percentage fall significantly.

Jaso was traded to the Seattle Mariners on November 27, 2011, in return for P Josh Lueke. In limited duty in 2012, he showed a propensity for driving in key runs, earning a following and the moniker of "The Cult Hero." He hit .276 in 108 games for the M's, hitting 19 doubles and 10 homers, driving in 50 and scoring 41. After the season, however, the Mariners made a number of moves that meant that young Jesus Montero, who had also played at first base and DH during his rookie season, would be the full-time catcher in 2013. That made Jaso redundant, and on January 16, 2013, Jaso was sent to the Oakland Athletics in a three-team trade that saw OF Mike Morse go from the Washington Nationals to Seattle, and young pitchers A.J. Cole and Blake Treinen head from Oakland to the nation's capital. For his part, Jaso headed to a situation where he could be the starter, the A's having traded veteran Kurt Suzuki during the previous season, while rookie Derek Norris had failed to establish himself as a full-time player.

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