Joseph brothers both selected in major league baseball draft

Monday, June 9, 2008 at 1:26am
Brothers Caleb and Corban Joseph were both taken in the major league baseball draft last week. Mike Strasinger for The City Paper

It’s safe to say the family of Mark and Lori Joseph in Franklin is a big baseball family.

But perhaps never in their dreams growing up did Caleb Joseph and younger brother Corban envision the scenario which unfolded last week.

Both Caleb, who just finished his junior year at Lipscomb University, and Corban, who finished his senior year at Franklin High, were drafted in the major league draft last week. They became a rarity – brothers picked so highly in the same draft.

Corban, a shortstop who had signed to play collegiately at Kentucky back in the spring, was selected by the New York Yankees Thursday in the fourth round, No. 140 overall. Then Friday morning, Caleb, a catcher, was picked by the Baltimore Orioles in the seventh round, No. 206 overall.

“It was a nervous, yet very exciting time for us,’’ Corban said over the weekend. “People were telling us so many things out there as to who would draft us. It was pretty hectic.’’

“It was pretty amazing, I heard I might be going to the White Sox, the A’s, before Baltimore took me,’’ Caleb said. “Just to see our names go up on the big screen and the teams that took us was pretty exciting.’’

The brother trio of J.D., Stephen and Tim Drew were all first-round major league draft picks, but each selection came in different years.

Both Josephs are ready to jump into the mix.

Caleb has already agreed in principle to a contract with the Orioles and will forego his senior year at Lipscomb. He said he would sign with the Orioles for $125,000 plus payment for his final three semesters at Lipscomb, with the total package coming to around $150,000.

Corban’s situation is a bit different. He appears ready to sign but will use his scholarship offer at Kentucky for leverage for a potentially better deal with the Yankees when talks start this week.

Caleb flew into Florida over the weekend for spring training instruction at the Orioles’ minor league camp. He expects to start plying his trade professionally at Class A Aberdeen, Md., shortly.

“I do hope to finish my last year in college at some point. But that will change if I get to the show (major leagues) and start making millions,’’ he said, laughing.

Corban, straight out of the high school graduation line, heads to Tampa, Fla., for Yankees rookie camp. “Assuming we can get the contract signed and worked out, I should be playing rookie ball in about 2-3 weeks,’’ he said.

Both head into their new careers with a full head of steam.

Caleb helped lead Lipscomb to its first-ever NCAA baseball tournament last week. In the Athens, Ga., Regional, the Bisons upset host Georgia in the first game before losing consecutive games to Georgia Tech, then to the Bulldogs.

He led Lipscomb in several categories, including batting average (.342), slugging percentage (.615), hits (61), home runs (17) and total bases (140) and started all 63 games. He was named to the A-Sun all-conference team and was named MVP of the conference tournament, which Lipscomb won.

Corban batted .510 for Franklin with 15 homers and 58 RBIs and was named Midstate Player of the Year. Last month, Franklin was halted in the AAA sectionals 5-2 by Mt. Juliet, ending a Rebel streak of three straight state tourney appearances.

Once, the two played on the same team – Caleb was a senior catcher and Corban played second base as a freshman three years ago at Franklin.

Caleb anticipated the question – what the conversation would be like if he were catching and Corban came to the plate in Class A ball.

“I’d tell him I’d call for some fast balls down the middle, and he better be ready to hit them,’’ Caleb said. “And if he got on, that I would throw him out if he tried to steal.’’

Brotherly love indeed.

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