Hobbies: golf, fishing, and billiards...His brother, Jimmie, was Texas' 26th round pick in the June, 1998 amateur draft and caught in Rangers system from 1998-2000...His cousin, Scott spent 8 years in the Yankees and Devil Rays organizations...Favorite players while growing up were Pete Rose and Cal Ripken and favorite team was Cincinnati Reds...Worked for his family's plants and produce business in Tampa during the off-season...Jason and his wife, the former Ellen Morabito, were married on Nov. 17, 2001.
Amateur Career: Starred as a 3rd baseman at Hillsborough High School in Tampa, FL (graduated '97), the same school that produced Dwight Gooden and Gary Sheffield...Hit .458 with 9 homers, 40 rbi, and 22 steals in senior year to earn high school all-American honors from USA Today and Baseball America...Was the mvp of high school world series that year...Was a member of bronze medal-winning U.S. Junior Olympic team in 1996...Also participated in Little League, Pony League, and American Legion baseball programs.2004On 7/27 had season-ending surgery
to repair a 70-percent tear in his right hamstring (Dr.
Timothy Kremchek)...suffered the injury during the first
inning of a game 2 days earlier at Pit...from 6/27-7/4 was
on Louisville's disabled list with a strained right
hamstring...on 4/3 was acquired by the Devil Rays from
the Dodgers for SS Antonio Perez...appeared in 4g for TB,
including 2 starts (LF, 2B)...on 4/20 was designated for
assignment...on 4/22 was claimed off waivers by Cin and
immediately was added to the 25-man roster...from 4/
23-5/18 went 1-for-16 in 15g for the Reds, including 1
start (RF, 4/28 at Mil), before he was outrighted to
Louisville on 5/19 after OF Austin Kearns was reinstated
from the 15-day DL...was Louisville's Batter of the Month for June (.315, 2hr, 8rbi) and in 40g overall for the Bats hit
.337 before he was promoted on 7/18 to take the roster spot of LHP Jesus Sanchez, who was designated for
assignment...appeared in 7 more games for the Reds, including 3 starts, before he suffered the hamstring injury...in
the 6-2 victory on 7/20 vs Mil started in CF and hit his first career home run, a 2-run shot off Doug Davis in the seventh
inning that snapped the 2-2 tie...during spring training led the Dodgers in hitting (.379), hits (22), runs (16), doubles
(5), homers (5), RBI (14), steals (5) and slugging (.724)...on 10/4 was reinstated from the 60-day DL...on 10/6 elected
free agency in lieu of accepting an outright assignment...on 10/11 signed a minor league contract for 2005 that
included an invitation to Major League spring training.2001Combined to bat .270 (99-366) with 5 homers and 33 rbi at Tulsa, Oklahoma, Gulf Coast, and Charlotte...Opened the year as Tulsa's 2nd baseman, starting 45 games at that position...Hit just .200 (18-90) in 23 games in April before rebounding for a .281 (27-96) mark in 23 May contests...Lone homer came on May 7 vs. San Antonio and had 4 hits on May 12 (2nd game) vs. Arkansas...Was promoted to Oklahoma on May 25 and was hitting .328 (20-61) in 20 games when sidelined with a broken right thumb, sustained on bunt attempt on June 16...Committed 10 errors in 63 games at 2nd for Drillers and RedHawks.
Was assigned on rehab to Gulf Coast Rangers on Aug. 4 and appeared in 5 games, the last 2 in centerfield...Was assigned to Charlotte on Aug. 9 and played in 3 games in center before Aug. 12 promotion to Oklahoma...Made 13 starts in center and 8 as the dh the rest of the season, batting .307 (27-88) in that span...Produced 3 homers and 9 rbi in final 14 contests...Did not commit an error in his 13 outfield games.
Played for Caguas in Puerto Rican winter league, batting .243 with 8 rbi in 20 games.2000Led the Texas League in sacrifice hits (16), tied for 4th in doubles (35), and was 5th in stolen bases (25) at Tulsa...Topped Drillers in at bats (535) and steals, was 2nd in games (131), hits (145), and doubles, and placed 3rd in runs (87)...Participated in Major League Baseball Futures Game as part of All-Star festivities on July 9 in Atlanta...Was the TL player of the week, Aug. 14-20...Had 15-game hitting streak, July 2-19...Led Texas League 2nd basemen in putouts (292), double plays (77), and errors (24)...Played for Grand Canyon in Arizona Fall League, batting .287 with 2 homers and 11 rbi in 26 games.1999Led all minor league players in triples (14) and placed among the Florida State League leaders in extra base hits (4th, 54), batting (5th, .312), and slugging (5th, .516) at Port Charlotte...Also led the Rangers in hits (143) and was 2nd in runs (84) and steals (34)...Had 2nd most steals of any Texas minor leaguer...Was named as 2nd baseman on FSL post-season all-star team...Missed 2 weeks in May with a laceration on right hand...Played for San Bernardino in California Fall League.1998Led Savannah in games (134) and at bats (524) and tied for 1st in steals (40).1997Played in 7 games at Charlotte and combined for .268 average with the 2 teams...Finished 2nd on Gulf Coast Rangers in runs (27) and steals (13) in 1st pro season in 1997...Hit safely in 8 of 1st 9 pro games at .333 (12-36) with 10 runs scored...Was Rangers' 1st selection in June, 1997 amatuer draft, the 39th overall player chosen with a sandwich pick between 1st and 2nd round.