Most Oriole fans are familiar with the organization’s top prospects, whether that’s Chance Sisco, Trey Mancini, Cody Sedlock or Hunter Harvey.
But there are plenty of other players trying to push themselves to the big leagues from within the minor-league system. And the Orioles have shown over the years that if you keep producing, you’ll get a shot at a major-league promotion.
One of the Orioles’ minor leaguers hoping to get to “The Show,” is, in one sense, closer to major league life than most: Triple-A infielder Corban Joseph, the younger brother of the Orioles’ 30-year-old catcher, Caleb Joseph.
Corban Joseph, 27, has been to the majors before, playing in two games for the New York Yankees in 2013 at age 24. He hasn’t been back since. A former fourth-rounder by the Yankees in 2008 out of high school, he made it to the majors about a year before his big brother, who was drafted out of college in the seventh round by the Orioles in that same draft.
In this week’s Minor League Podcast with Adam Pohl, Corban Joseph talks about what it was like when both brothers were drafted on the same day.
“Once I got drafted, I was kind of like, ‘Good, now it’s Caleb’s turn.’ And it would have been my turn if he had gotten drafted first,” Joseph said. “It was kind of just like, waiting around. I didn’t want to get too excited until he got to be able to follow his dream, too. And we were blessed enough to both experience it and experience it together.”
Pohl, the voice of the Double-A Bowie Baysox, also talked to Joseph about the opportunity to play with his big brother this season at Triple-A Norfolk, where the catcher was sent to try and rediscover his big-league swing while the younger was batting around .300 for the Tides.
“It was something we always dreamed about, unfortunately, not under the circumstances we wanted,” Corban Joseph said. “But I think it was a good time for both of us.”
The hope, of course, is that they can someday play together in Baltimore. Corban Joseph batted .349 with a .394 on-base percentage in 22 games at Bowie this year before getting the call to Norfolk, where he hit .305 with a .362 on-base percentage and seven homers in 85 games with the Tides. He started 87 games at second base and two at first this year, and, in his career, also started 47 games at third base and one in left field.
The defensive versatility helps his cause, and so does his ability to put the ball in play — he struck out just 36 times in 369 at-bats in the minors this year — but he is stuck behind budding star Jonathan Schoop in the organization’s hierarchy at second base.
Joseph has an interesting story to tell, one that’s similar to a lot of minor leaguers, but with a brotherly twist. It’s definitely worth a listen.