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Caleb Joseph drafted in seventh round by Baltimore Orioles

Friday, June 06, 2008

June 6, 2008

Lipscomb catcher Caleb Joseph was drafted in the seventh round by the Baltimore Orioles Friday morning in the Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft.

"I think he is going to sign," said Lipscomb coach Jeff Forehand. "The Orioles really liked him. They were in two or three times to watch him. Their cross-checker came in and watched him and liked him.

"Most teams have two national cross-checkers who come in and put a stamp on a guy as to where he might be taken in the draft. When the cross-checker comes in to watch a player it usually means that a team is pretty serious about wanting that player. To be drafted in the seventh round is pretty significant."

Forehand added that several teams showed an interest in Caleb, but he was not surprised that the Orioles drafted him based on their level of interest. The Arizona Diamondbacks also were giving Caleb a long look as well."

When Forehand was the coach at Trevecca Nazarene he recruited Caleb to be his shortstop. During most mid-week games Caleb played second base. Forehand thinks that Caleb's versatility is a plus, but he also thinks that his main position will be as a catcher.

"If that doesn't work out he could turn into an offensive second baseman," Forehand said. "But the immediate plans appear to be that he will be a catcher.

"Caleb is just a baseball player. I told one scout that Caleb could move up the chain in an organization as a catcher, third baseman, second baseman or an outfielder."

Caleb, a junior, helped lead the Bisons to their first Atlantic Sun Baseball Tournament Championship and first appearance in the NCAA Tournament. He played and started in all 63 games. He led the team in several offensive categories including batting average (.342), slugging percentage (.615), hits (61), home runs (17) and total bases (140).

He was named to the Atlantic Sun All-Conference Team and also was the MVP of the conference tournament.

Caleb led the conference in total bases with 160 and tied for second in home runs with 17.

"Teams liked what Caleb does offensively," Forehand said. "But they also liked his make-up. They like that he is a heady player. He is a guy that they won't have to baby sit. He is an older kid. His priorities are in order.

"He has been raised right. He comes from a great family. He comes from a great background in baseball."

On the field Caleb is a leader on many levels, always anticipating what could be ahead.

"As a catcher he is thinking about not only the next pitch, but the next pitch after that," Forehand said. "He is thinking about the next at bat for a player.

"He batted third for us. He got pitched tough every game. He thought about what the pitcher was going to be trying to do to him. He recognizes what he needs to do with his swing. The mental part of his game is so strong it makes him an even better player."

Having a player drafted at such a high level is a plus for the Lipscomb baseball program, but losing such a talent is a definite minus.

"It only helps our program to get a player of that caliber drafted that high," Forehand said. "But we have big shoes that have to be filled. The catchers we have on the team now are going to have to step up and really play. And we are going to have to sign another one."

Caleb's brother, Corban, a shortstop, was selected in the fourth round by the New York Yankees. Corban played high school ball this season at Franklin High School

Corban was the 140th player selected overall. Caleb was the 206th player drafted.

"It has been an exciting two days for the Joseph family," Forehand said. "Their family deserves this.

"I am so excited for Caleb. This is something he has wanted to do for so long. This is every kid's dream."

Forehand was hopeful that two of his senior players, outfielder Blake Bratcher and shortstop Jorge Gutierrez, would get their names called in the later rounds.