Scouting Yankees Prospect #24: Corban Joseph

The Yankees drafted second baseman Corban Joseph in the fourth round of the 2008 MLB Draft out of Franklin High School in Tennessee. A hitter who batted over .500 with power in his senior year of high school and amassed just five strikeouts to boot, scouts believe in his bat and in his chances to be a plus offensive player at the middle infield position.

Vital Statistics:
Name: Corban Joseph
Position: Second Base
DOB: October 28, 1988
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 185
Bats: Left
Throws: Right

"I thought I did pretty good," Joseph said of his debut season. "I kind of struggled at the start a little bit.

"It was kind of a big jump but I thought I kind of proved myself with how I performed in the middle towards the end of the season. I'm really comfortable with where I'm at right now."

It took him a few games to find his bearings in the professional ranks as he hit just .115 in his first nine games with the Gulf Coast League Yankees.

Known as an offensive-minded middle infielder, however, one who could make quick adjustments, he quickly turned things around by hitting .354 over his next 22 games before finishing his debut season with a .277 average and leading the team in doubles [15], walks [20], and runs scored [25].

"I just think he realized he can be a professional ball player," GCL Yankees manager Jody Reed said of Joseph's turnaround. "That's not uncommon.

"You have to remember he's a high school kid. He's thrust in there, even players in the GCL are older than him, and the first thing you have to do is have your confidence catch up.

"Once he realized he can do this, you're over the biggest hurdle you've got to get over, now you can just play baseball the way you know how."

His batting potential was never in doubt as an amateur, even drawing comparisons to young Chase Utley, but some scouts were concerned whether or not his defense or the other areas of his game would develop enough to stick in the middle infield.

"Yeah that's the name you'd hope he'd become," said Yankees scouting director Damon Oppenheimer. "Chase Utley's bat was further along than his glove was at the same time, just like Corban. I guess that's where the similarities are, that and the fact they're both left-handed hitting second baseman."

"We think can really hit. He's a proven hitter. He's a workout nut when it comes to makeup for hitting. He's got to improve with his glove, there's no question about it.

"With the way he works at it and the fact he's just a pure baseball guy, and with our development guys, we'll be able to get this guy to be a solid defender and with his bat keep coming we should have a hell of a player."

The good news for Joseph is that his offensive game is so sound at a young age that it can, and will, allow him to focus more of his attention on the defensive side of the ball.

"I knew I could hit coming in and that it was a matter of time before I started coming around so I can pay more attention to the fielding because the hitting is fine," said Joseph. "I kind of know when I'm on and when I'm not on with my hitting so I know when I need to pay more attention to that.

"My jumps and my range were not up to par when I first got there because in high school I knew I could hit but I didn't really pay much attention to my fielding. That's what the Yankees harped on me a lot, my fielding and my footwork, the importance of being more than a one-tool player. I think I really took that to heart and really improved."

He admits the changes to his range and footwork in particular were drastic from the time he signed until he finished his Instructional League season, and he wasn't the only one.

"He made progress defensively and that's what you want to see," Reed concurred. "I saw him make huge progress. You want to see a young player come in and be receptive to the information and the techniques, the things that you have to offer him. He was that and it showed in his game immediately.

"One of the biggest things that I really, really hounded on with Corban was the value of the defensive side of the baseball, especially for the position he plays. We had a lot of sit-downs, a lot of face-to-faces, and I think he understands now that baseball is not all hitting.

"You've got to go out there and get people out. I think he understands now and I think the fact that he does understand will only decrease the time he needs to get his defensive game where he needs to."

Year

Team

AVG

AB

2B

HR

RBI

R

SB

BB

SO

OBP

SLG

2008 GCL Yankees .277 159 15 2 18 25 2 20 24 .359 .434


Batting and Power. Joseph has the makings of a sound contact hitter: great patience, excellent plate discipline, and an ability to hit the ball to all fields. Despite his leaner frame, he also has very good power already and most scouts agree the power will only get better as he fills out. In fact he has already added nearly twenty pounds since first being drafted. The Yankees are trying him to get him to hit through the ball a bit more and use more back-spin, and that will only help his power as well. How far his power will develop will only be answered in time, but there aren't any weaknesses with the bat.

Base Running and Speed. Joseph has average speed for a middle infielder, but he has never really focused in becoming a great base stealer and that makes him a bit raw in the running game. He gets by on speed alone at the current time and he does have some work to do reading pitchers' moves better. He has the potential to be a future impact runner to some degree, but it will take some time.

Defense. Like his running game, Joseph's defensive problems entering the professional ranks are more a product of it not being a real priority for him in the past. He has the natural speed and athleticism to show solid enough range, and he has the tenacity to keep his focus in the game, he just needs some seasoning learning to position himself better and read the ball coming off of the bat better. He is a bit raw defensively right now, but there is potential to be a very good defensive player down the road.

Projection. Joseph's batting potential alone makes him one of the safer bets to be a starting big league second baseman someday. His bat control is only surpassed by his innate ability to make quick adjustments and that's a good recipe for future success. He is also both a better runner and a better defensive player than he has shown thus far, and his quality makeup and work ethic lead many to believe it is only a matter of time before he improves in both areas. He routinely gets compared to Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Chase Utley for his ability to hit for average and power as a left-handed hitting middle infielder, and like Utley he has the extra edge that makes him a winning player. He has a long way to go to match the same kind of production, however, but the foundation and potential are there to possibly be a similar type someday.

ETA. 2013. Joseph's bat is more than ready to tackle the long-season leagues in 2009, but the organizational depth could force the Yankees to take it slower with him initially by starting him in Staten Island next season.

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\r\n \r\n\r\nVital Statistics:
\r\nName: Corban Joseph
\r\nPosition: Second Base
\r\nDOB: October 28, 1988
\r\nHeight: 6'0\"
\r\nWeight: 185
\r\nBats: Left
\r\nThrows: Right
\r\n
\r\n\"I thought I did pretty good,\" Joseph said of his debut season. \"I kind of struggled at the start a little bit.
\r\n
\r\n\"It was kind of a big jump but I thought I kind of proved myself with how I performed in the middle towards the end of the season. I'm really comfortable with where I'm at right now.\"
\r\n
\r\nIt took him a few games to find his bearings in the professional ranks as he hit just .115 in his first nine games with the Gulf Coast League Yankees.
\r\n
\r\nKnown as an offensive-minded middle infielder, however, one who could make quick adjustments, he quickly turned things around by hitting .354 over his next 22 games before finishing his debut season with a .277 average and leading the team in doubles [15], walks [20], and runs scored [25].
\r\n
\r\n\"I just think he realized he can be a professional ball player,\" GCL Yankees manager Jody Reed said of Joseph's turnaround. \"That's not uncommon.
\r\n
\r\n\"You have to remember he's a high school kid. He's thrust in there, even players in the GCL are older than him, and the first thing you have to do is have your confidence catch up.
\r\n
\r\n\"Once he realized he can do this, you're over the biggest hurdle you've got to get over, now you can just play baseball the way you know how.\"
\r\n
\r\nHis batting potential was never in doubt as an amateur, even drawing comparisons to young Chase Utley, but some scouts were concerned whether or not his defense or the other areas of his game would develop enough to stick in the middle infield.
\r\n
\r\n\"Yeah that's the name you'd hope he'd become,\" said Yankees scouting director Damon Oppenheimer. \"Chase Utley's bat was further along than his glove was at the same time, just like Corban. I guess that's where the similarities are, that and the fact they're both left-handed hitting second baseman.\"
\r\n
\r\n\"We think can really hit. He's a proven hitter. He's a workout nut when it comes to makeup for hitting. He's got to improve with his glove, there's no question about it.
\r\n
\r\n\"With the way he works at it and the fact he's just a pure baseball guy, and with our development guys, we'll be able to get this guy to be a solid defender and with his bat keep coming we should have a hell of a player.\"
\r\n
\r\nThe good news for Joseph is that his offensive game is so sound at a young age that it can, and will, allow him to focus more of his attention on the defensive side of the ball.
\r\n
\r\n\"I knew I could hit coming in and that it was a matter of time before I started coming around so I can pay more attention to the fielding because the hitting is fine,\" said Joseph. \"I kind of know when I'm on and when I'm not on with my hitting so I know when I need to pay more attention to that.
\r\n
\r\n\"My jumps and my range were not up to par when I first got there because in high school I knew I could hit but I didn't really pay much attention to my fielding. That's what the Yankees harped on me a lot, my fielding and my footwork, the importance of being more than a one-tool player. I think I really took that to heart and really improved.\"
\r\n
\r\nHe admits the changes to his range and footwork in particular were drastic from the time he signed until he finished his Instructional League season, and he wasn't the only one.
\r\n
\r\n\"He made progress defensively and that's what you want to see,\" Reed concurred. \"I saw him make huge progress. You want to see a young player come in and be receptive to the information and the techniques, the things that you have to offer him. He was that and it showed in his game immediately.
\r\n
\r\n\"One of the biggest things that I really, really hounded on with Corban was the value of the defensive side of the baseball, especially for the position he plays. We had a lot of sit-downs, a lot of face-to-faces, and I think he understands now that baseball is not all hitting.
\r\n
\r\n\"You've got to go out there and get people out. I think he understands now and I think the fact that he does understand will only decrease the time he needs to get his defensive game where he needs to.\"
\r\n
\r\n\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n
\r\n

Year

\r\n

Team

\r\n

AVG

\r\n

AB

\r\n

2B

\r\n

HR

\r\n

RBI

\r\n

R

\r\n

SB

\r\n

BB

\r\n

SO

\r\n

OBP

\r\n

SLG

\r\n 2008\r\n GCL Yankees\r\n .277\r\n 159\r\n 15\r\n 2\r\n 18\r\n 25\r\n 2\r\n 20\r\n 24\r\n .359\r\n .434

\r\n
\r\nBatting and Power. Joseph has the makings of a sound contact hitter: great patience, excellent plate discipline, and an ability to hit the ball to all fields. Despite his leaner frame, he also has very good power already and most scouts agree the power will only get better as he fills out. In fact he has already added nearly twenty pounds since first being drafted. The Yankees are trying him to get him to hit through the ball a bit more and use more back-spin, and that will only help his power as well. How far his power will develop will only be answered in time, but there aren't any weaknesses with the bat.
\r\n
\r\nBase Running and Speed. Joseph has average speed for a middle infielder, but he has never really focused in becoming a great base stealer and that makes him a bit raw in the running game. He gets by on speed alone at the current time and he does have some work to do reading pitchers' moves better. He has the potential to be a future impact runner to some degree, but it will take some time.
\r\n
\r\nDefense. Like his running game, Joseph's defensive problems entering the professional ranks are more a product of it not being a real priority for him in the past. He has the natural speed and athleticism to show solid enough range, and he has the tenacity to keep his focus in the game, he just needs some seasoning learning to position himself better and read the ball coming off of the bat better. He is a bit raw defensively right now, but there is potential to be a very good defensive player down the road.
\r\n
\r\nProjection. Joseph's batting potential alone makes him one of the safer bets to be a starting big league second baseman someday. His bat control is only surpassed by his innate ability to make quick adjustments and that's a good recipe for future success. He is also both a better runner and a better defensive player than he has shown thus far, and his quality makeup and work ethic lead many to believe it is only a matter of time before he improves in both areas. He routinely gets compared to Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Chase Utley for his ability to hit for average and power as a left-handed hitting middle infielder, and like Utley he has the extra edge that makes him a winning player. He has a long way to go to match the same kind of production, however, but the foundation and potential are there to possibly be a similar type someday.
\r\n
\r\nETA. 2013. Joseph's bat is more than ready to tackle the long-season leagues in 2009, but the organizational depth could force the Yankees to take it slower with him initially by starting him in Staten Island next season.
\r\n
\r\n

\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n\r\n
\r\n

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\r\n

\r\n

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