Thurston graduated from Vallejo High School in Vallejo, California. He was originally selected in 1997 by the Boston Red Sox in the 45th round (1,332nd overall) of the Major League Baseball draft, but did not sign with them and instead went to Sacramento City College. He was drafted again in 1999, this time by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 4th round (134th) of the 1999 amateur draft.
He signed a minor-league contract with the Philadelphia Phillies on January 11, 2006. He was assigned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to begin the season and his contract purchased on August 22, 2006. He would stay with the Phillies for the rest of the season and played in 18 games going 4-18 (.222 batting average). He was released after the season. On November 6, he signed a minor league contract with the Washington Nationals that included an invite to Spring Training. He did not make the major league club and was released.
He was then once again picked up by the Philadelphia Phillies and was assigned to their Double-A team, the Reading Phillies. He played four games for the Reading Phillies before earning a callup to Triple-A Ottawa. He had his contract purchased by the big league club on July 27, 2007 after second baseman Chase Utley was placed on the disabled list. He was demoted the next day after the acquisition of Tadahito Iguchi. Thurston spent the rest of the 2007 season with Ottawa. He became a free agent after the season. On December 13, Thurston signed with the Boston Red Sox to a minor league contract with an invitation to Spring Training. On March 19, 2008 he was assigned to the minor league camp. On April 16, he was brought up to the Red Sox from Pawtucket to replace the injured Alex Cora.
Awards and recognitionEdit
- 2000 - Los Angeles Dodgers Minor League Player of the Year, California League All-Star SS
- 2002 - Baseball America 2nd team Minor League All-Star 2B, Triple-A All-Star 2B, Los Angeles Dodgers Minor League Player of the Year, Pacific League All-Star 2B, AAA Player of the Year
- 2006 - International League All-Star 2B