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Former prospect Figueroa passes away from lupus

Nov 13, 2009, 5:15 PM EDT

Jonathan Figueroa, a longtime minor leaguer who pitched in the Dodgers system, passed away from lupus at age 26.
The native of Venezuela was initially billed as a top prospect after a spectacular pro debut in 2002. He went 7-3 with a 1.42 ERA and a 105/39 K/BB ratio in 75 innings between the Rookie Pioneer League and the low-A Sally League. Baseball America rated him the Dodgers’ No. 2 prospect that winter, placing him in between James Loney and Edwin Jackson.
Figueroa, though, never experienced much success after that, as shoulder and conditioning issues held him back. He went 1-8 with a 4.94 ERA in the Sally League in 2003, and he racked up ERAs of 7.00, 6.00 and 7.29 in subsequent seasons. He spent 2008 pitching in the indy leagues, and he went 5-1 with a 3.51 ERA in seven starts for Long Beach of the Golden League. He pitched in the American Association this year and was expected back with the Lincoln Salt Dogs in 2010.
Figueroa is survived by his wife and two children.

  1. Geordan Gisi - Nov 13, 2009 at 5:48 PM

    My Prayers Go Out To His Family

  2. Old Gator - Nov 15, 2009 at 10:24 AM

    This is an insidious disease in its initial stages, but I’m surprised it took him at such a tragically young age. It’s entirely probable that his shoulder problems and “conditioning” problems were early functions of the illness before it was properly diagnosed. The great southern American author Flannery O’Connor succumbed to the same disease, but she suffered from it for many years and fought it off well into middle age.

  3. Kallie Krasnansky - Feb 13, 2010 at 6:08 PM

    I saw this really great post today, found it on google. i think i may return some time.

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