New York Yankees Prospect Watch: Corban Joseph
When one thinks about the prospects in the New York Yankees‘ farm system, usual names that come to mind are Manny Banuelos, Dellin Betances, Gary Sanchez, and Mason Williams. However there are many more players down in the minor leagues who are worthy of keeping an eye on. One such prospect is Corban Joseph.
By all accounts, Joseph should not be a highly touted prospect. After all, he was drafted in the 4th round of the 2008 draft as the 140th pick. However, after spending the past four seasons at every minor league level, Joseph has cemented himself as one of the Yankees most effective prospects. This past 2012 season, he spent time in both AA Trenton and AAA Scranton Wilkes-Barre. Playing a total of 107 games, he compiled a .276 batting average with 15 homeruns and 62 RBIs. Certainly very good numbers for a prospect who was taken in the 4th round.
The problem with Joseph lies in the fact that he is primarily a second baseman. Obviously the Yankees already have a Gold Glove second baseman in Robinson Cano, so it would be tough to bring Joseph up to play second base. However in both 2009 and 2010, Joseph saw limited action at third base. Should the Yankees end up keeping Alex Rodriguez, it would be wise for them to try and convert him to a third baseman – especially if they decide to use Rodriguez as a part-time DH as well.
He also has decent plate discipline, as he struck out 70 times last year and drew 68 walks. With 114 hits in last year’s season, he averages a little more than one hit per at bat. The same holds true for his career minor league statistics – as he has 549 hits in 517 at bats.
Joseph may need to spend just a little more time down in AAA to just tweak some things. However, I fully expect to see Joseph with the Yankees at some point next season. If he has a good Spring Training, we might even see him as a Yankee to start the season.
Joseph definitely has all the tools to succeed in the big leagues, and might one day end up becoming a pretty nice asset to have.
Follow Hunter Farman on Twitter @hfarman1