Birth date 11 Feb 1984 (35 years)
Nationality United States United States
Position Catcher
Team history
Houston Astros 2007 - present

Justin Richard Towles is a professional baseball player from the United States of America and plays as a catcher. Twice during his college career, Towles declared for the MLB Draft and was picked at 968th overall, the first time in 2002 and at 692nd overall, the second time round, in 2003. Each time, Towles decided to continue with his college career and did not sign with the team.

In 2004, he was picked at 604th overall, by the Houston Astros and this time ‘round, Towles decided that he would sign up with the team. The Rookie League beckoned Towles as he joined the Greeneville Astros for his first season in professional baseball. 39 games later, he was batting at .243 to gain promotion to the Lexington Legends in the low A-Division. In 2005, he had 5 home runs to his name with a BA of .345 and in the next season, while his batting average dropped a little, Towles was on the mark with 12 homers in 81 games at .312. He was named to the South Atlantic League Mid-Season All-Star and was also named as a Baseball America Low-A All Star.

By 2007, he had managed his way up to the Salem Avalanche in the A-League before moving up to the Corpus Christi Hooks and then to the Round Rock Express, in the AA- and AAA-League respectively, all in the same season. After a sum total of 100 games in all the three leagues, Towles ended the year at .287 with the bat and had slammed 11 balls out of the park. He was name to the All-Star Futures Game in 2007.

In September that year, he was called up to the Astros after the team bought Towles’ contract. A day later, Towles made his MLB debut when he went out against the Milwaukee Brewers. A couple of weeks later, Towles made his mark with an 8-RBI game, beating the previous club record of 7-RBI, in a game that the Astros won 18-1 against the St. Louis Cardinals.

For 2008, Towles was touted to be the starting catcher however, Brad Ausmus was brought into the team, which put Towles into the back-up spot as Ausmus’s understudy. Batting was becoming a problem for Towles and he was assigned to the AAA-League with the Round Rock Express after hitting at just .145 for the Astros, in 45 games.

In 2009, Towles was back in the reckoning after spending the remaining year at Round Rock. Humberto Quintero and Lou Palmisano were the other contenders are in the end, Towles was forced to begin the season at Round Rock. Ivan Rodriguez’s signing meant that there was no doubt that Towles was not being looked at as a first-choice option.

Quintero’s injury meant that Towles would come back onto the MLB roster as a backup to Rodriguez and got his chance to play once after Rodriguez was ejected from a game. Towles had just one hit in that game, in 3 at-bats, and with that hit, he had a 2-run game-tying double.

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