Monday, December 1, 2014

Corbin Joseph: Stop-Gap Option?

For previous recaps on minor league signings, you can look at posts from November 12th, 18th, and 23rd.

Sometimes, a guy basically flies under the radar. The signing of Corban Joseph wasn't on the transactions page the Braves provide a few days ago, but someone must have updated it since then (along with added a couple of international guys I know nothing about).

So, what do we know about Joseph? According to Carson Castulli of Fangraphs, the Braves are essentially signing Tommy La Stella in the form of Joseph. Is that fair?

The link provided looks into their projections, but let's compare some selected minor league numbers.

Player BB% K% ISO OBP
La Stella 11.3% 8.5% .152 .407
Joseph 10.8% 16.1% .142 .359

It should be noted that Joseph played longer in the minors (7 seasons) than La Stella (4 seasons) and was drafted out of high school whereas La Stella was chosen out of Coastal Carolina University. La Stella's numbers are noticeably better in the minors in one category I left off. TLS hit .322 in the minors where Joseph hit .278.

La Stella has 360 PA in the majors, all last year. Joseph has seven and those came in 2013. TLS brought back a young reliever who many still believe will become a high profile arm for a bullpen, plus international slot money. Joseph was cut at the end of August and just now found work.

So, why the comparison? Well, it comes down to the projections, as the article speaks of. Joseph is expected to provide a similar WAR to La Stella. He'll walk less and strike out more, but will also hit for more pop and provide slightly better defense, a problem for TLS. Also, one of the biggest issues with La Stella was that he was limited and hadn't moved off second base to increase his versatility. Joseph has mostly played second, but also moved to third, first, and even played a game in left field last season. That could go a long way toward keeping him in the majors.

I wouldn't go so far as call Joseph "basically TLS" and I think TLS will probably be a better player. However, that doesn't mean Joseph can't be a stop-gap guy who could possibly platoon at second ahead of Jose Peraza's arrival before transitioning into a utility role. I should say chances are good Joseph spends all of 2015 with Gwinnett, but if he does make it to the majors, he's certainly better suited for what the Braves need than TLS, a thoroughly limited player whose only tool, plate discipline, wasn't going to provide nearly enough value.

No comments:

Post a Comment