"It all happened one day," Joseph said. "I did my routine before the game. I then went up to the plate and hit the first home run of my life."
Later in the game, Joseph connected on a grand slam and quickly grabbed the scout's attention. As professional scouts began to take in his games, Joseph continued to capitalize on his opportunities, which culminated in the Cubs picking him 10 months ago. Joseph was born in Hagerstown, Md., and possesses an enthusiastic and genuinely polite personality.
"I felt my heart go to the bottom of my feet (when the Cubs selected me)," Joseph said. "It almost brought me to tears."
Joseph played in 44 games at Rookie Ball in Mesa last summer. Center field was the spot where he was mostly used. Joseph batted .268 with 20 RBI and two errors in the field. Currently, Joseph is still in Mesa fine-tuning his hitting, base running and fielding skills. He will either rejoin the Mesa Cubs in June or move up to short-season Class-A Boise.
"The Cubs are teaching us the physical and mental parts of the game," Joseph said. "We are told ‘do not take what happens on the field into the dugout.' They are trying to teach us to turn a negative into a positive."
The lessons being learned in the desert are not new to the 18-year-old. Joseph is sincerely religious, and his beliefs and values are overly positive and optimistic to begin with.
"My goal is to get to the big leagues," Joseph said. "Wherever they send me I am going to do my best and go all out. It is a God-given ability, so don't let it go to waste."
The excitement level this prospect is feeling shows that he does not take any part of this opportunity for granted.
"I need to take advantage of this," Joseph said. "This is your job, too. I am very blessed to be doing this. The game speeds up a little bit every day."
To go along with Joseph's inexperience, the prospect has never been to a professional baseball game. He has seen broadcasts on television and has certainly read the papers, but the roar of 30,000 fans with a loud organ playing in the background is unfamiliar to Joseph.
"If you don't have the right mentality, it is very hard to last up here," Joseph said. "You learn to be patient. Baseball teaches you about life. The one who can hold out the longest is the one who can succeed."
Patience will be the key for Joseph as he continues on his lengthy journey ahead.
Scott Sabin is the contributing editor of Inside The Ivy. Write to Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org.