Friday, July 11, 2014

Brotherly love on draft day

June 08. 2013 11:40PM

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Last week, hundreds of Major League hopefuls got a phone call that they were selected in the 2013 edition of the Major League Baseball Amateur Draft.

Those youngsters most likely got the thrill of a lifetime and enjoyed one of the best days of their lives during the event’s three days and 40 rounds.

And all of the selections have their own draft story, including the Peterson brothers, D.J. and Dustin, who were both taken on the first day by the Mariners (first round) and Padres (second round), respectively.

Siblings being drafted in the same year is what Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRider Corban Joseph can relate to. Corban and his brother Caleb were both taken in the 2008 draft.

Corban was taken in the fourth round out of Franklin High School in Tennessee. Caleb meanwhile, was selected by Baltimore three rounds later from Lipscomb University. Caleb’s pick came in the first round on the second day because the first day’s action took very long. Otherwise they would’ve gone together on the same day.

“It was a lot of fun. It was a lot of exciting times for me and my family and my brother as well,” Corban said. “It was like a celebration both days. It was a lot of hard work that paid off in the early stages of our career and a lot of excitement.

“I’ve heard brothers playing in the big leagues together and against each other, but to be drafted three or four rounds apart…To be able to do that and be a part of that is pretty exciting.”

Speaking of playing against each other, the Josephs did that in 2011 playing in the Double-A Eastern League when Corban was on Trenton and Caleb was part of Bowie.

The teams played six games. Being a catcher, Caleb didn’t play in all six but Corban did. Corban finished the season series hitting .260 (6-for-23) with six runs scored and a double. Caleb didn’t fare as well going just 2-for-14 in four games. The two were also on opposing rosters for the 2011 Eastern League All-Star Game won by Caleb’s West squad, 8-3. Caleb went 1-for-2 in the game, while Corban was 2-for-3 with a run.

Corban said his numbers might have been a little better had his brother not been a catcher.

“It’s a pretty unique battle,” Corban said. “He’s a catcher so he knows my weaknesses and he goes after me so I gotta be on my game when I play against him.”

They didn’t square off at all last year because Corban, 24, was promoted to Triple-A on June 1, while Caleb, 26, didn’t get promoted till later in the season and the SWB Yankees had already played Norfolk.

It may not be long before the brothers are on the same field going against each other. Caleb is on pace to have a career season in Double-A. He’s batting .268 with 11 home runs and 41 RBI. His career-high for home runs (12) and RBI (55) are well within reach. Norfolk’s current catching duo has combined for a .230 average with one home run and 19 RBI. If he’s promoted by the end of the month, the two could see each other at PNC Field June 21-23 for a four-game set. While they talk throughout the season to check in, it would definitely be welcome for Corban to get a chance to catch up during a game like they have in the past.

“We’ll talk about where we want to go eat that night with our family because normally when we play each other our family comes up and try to hit two birds with one stone,” Corban said. “So they come up and support both of us.”

The brothers grew up in Franklin, Tenn., sons of Mark and Lori Joseph in a city about a half hour away from Nashville. The entire state of Tennessee is known more for producing notable country singers and football players and not so many baseball players.

“We’re definitely building,” Corban added. “There’s a lot of talent in Tennessee and there’s a lot of football-oriented stuff going on but I think baseball is growing and a lot of leagues are getting started and more kids are playing.”

With the help of the Josephs, the state could be getting noticed more and more.

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