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Jason Jaramillo working to get back to majors

Former Oklahoma State player now a catcher with the RedHawks, but he hopes a call-up to Houston is in his future.
By Mike Baldwin Published: April 16, 2013

RedHawks catcher Jason Jaramillo has spent some time in the majors. Philadelphia's second-round pick nine years ago out of Oklahoma State, Jaramillo was traded four years later to Pittsburgh and played parts of three seasons with the Pirates.

Getting back to the majors has presented challenges. Jaramillo said last season was a reminder to appreciate playing baseball for a living, which gave him added incentive.

After the 2011 season, Pittsburgh released Jaramillo. He signed with Milwaukee, spending much of the season with the Brewer's Double-A and Triple-A teams. He ended the season with Oakland's Triple-A team.

“It was a tough year,” Jaramillo said. “I had a quad injury, leg injury and a back injury, things that hinder your performance. I live on faith in the Lord. Everything happens for a reason. This year I feel great. I'm looking forward to this season.”

Jaramillo, 30, has spent most of his career in the minors.

A career .264 hitter in roughly 2,000 minor league at bats, Jaramillo is an outstanding defensive catcher. The key to getting back to the majors: Jaramillo must hit consistently. He batted a combined .235 in 336 at bats with the Pirates in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

Jaramillo, though, had some success in the majors. He hit .326 in limited action (43 at bats) two years ago with the Pirates and batted .252 with three homers and 26 RBIs in his most extensive major league stint (206 at bats) four years ago.

He is off to a slow start (1-for-20) with the RedHawks but is thankful he's healthy.

“He's caught a couple of seasons in the majors,” said RedHawks manager Tony DeFrancesco. “He's a switch hitter. We're hoping he will take charge and lead some of these young players. We're trying to get his swing right. His defense will keep him around the game awhile.”

Houston assistant general manager David Stearns said Jaramillo was the type of veteran catcher the Astros were targeting.

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