Justin Fuller (minors02)
Justin Michael Fuller
- Bats Left, Throws Right
- Height 6' 1", Weight 190 lb.
- School Lewis-Clark State College
- High School Lynnwood High School
Infielder Justin Fuller is one of a very small number of professional baseball players to be born in Juneau, AK, the capital of the state of Alaska. Only one major leaguer has come from the isolated small town - contemporary pitcher Chad Bentz, who was not born in Juneau but went to high school there. In Fuller's case, his family had moved to Washington State by the time he went to high school.
He was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 11th round of the 2006 amateur draft out of Lewis-Clark State College and began his pro career that same year with the Ogden Raptors of the Pioneer League, where he hit .230 in 39 games. In 2007, he split his season between Ogden and the Great Lakes Loons of the Midwest League, hitting a combined .234/.319/.329 in 82 games. In 2008, he was again with two teams, starting off with Great Lakes for 16 games before a promotion to the Inland Empire 66ers of the California League, for which he played a further 55 games. His combined line was .248/.355/.336 in 51 games as he settled into the role of back-up infielder playing both second base and shortstop.
In 2009, he played another 56 games for Inland Empire, with a batting line of .254/.340/.418. On August 31st, he was traded straight-up for veteran 1B Jim Thome, as the Dodgers wanted another bat to come off the bench during the last weeks of the pennant race. The White Sox probably thought that Thome was on his last legs at 38, but he ended playing three more seasons, including a very good one for the 2010 Minnesota Twins when he had an OPS of 1.039. Fuller was just a token return for the Sox, but he did play his only AAA games after the trade, with the Charlotte Knights of the International League, going 4 for 13. That and being traded for a Hall of Famer, were the highlights of his professional career. He did play one more season, in 2010 with the Birmingham Barons of the AA Southern League, hitting .188 in 25 games before being released. So, ironically, Thome outlasted him by two full years.