Caleb Joseph Baltimore Orioles

By Anthony Weber

Player of Week- Caleb Joseph (8/04-8/10)

Caleb Joseph who made his Major League debut earlier this season back on May 7th, has split starts behind the plate for the Baltimore Orioles with Nick Hundley.  Joseph and Hundley have taken over every day catching duties for Orioles catcher, Matt Wieters, who underwent Tommy John surgery.

Joseph who was drafted in the 7th round of the 2008 draft started his rookie season off very poorly.  The transition from the minors to the majors proved to be extremely challenging, as through his first 10 starts at catcher this season, he had a .069 batting average with 1 run scored and 1 RBI.  With the early season struggles from Joseph and the loss of Wieters for the season, the Orioles acquired Nick Hundley from the San Diego Padres in late May.

Fortunately, for Joseph and his playing time, Hundley failed to provide much offensively with his bat in the lineup from the catcher position.  Consequently, the Orioles have had the patience to stick with Joseph as he continues to make adjustments at the Major League level instead of sending him back down to the minors to work things out.  Apparently the time has paid off as Joseph in the month of August has been one of the most productive Orioles batters.

Coming into the month of August Joseph was hitting just .203, with 13 runs, 12 RBIs and 3 home runs over 47 games with an appearance at the plate.  In seven games through the month of August Joseph has raised his batting average to .228, as he has 9 hits in 25 At-Bats, a .360 average.  However, it is not just the improved batting average that is paying dividends to the Orioles, but it is the type of hits and the timeliness of them, that is providing significant production.

The production from Joseph over the last 7 days is his best stretch of his rookie season and for this reason he claims the Beyond The Spread’s player of the week recognition.  This past week Joseph played in five games for the Orioles and he collected a hit in all five games, extending his hitting streak to a career best six games.  Joseph this month in seven starts has a total of 5 home runs, which all came in 5 consecutive starts.  He has scored 5 runs and has 9 RBIs in the month of August.

Joseph’s bat first caught fire starting on July 22nd, as in his last 13 starts since, he has a hit in eleven of the games.  In addition, the Orioles have won 10 of the last 13 games in which Joseph has started.

Naturally, with such a small sample size from Joseph at the big league level and considering his early season struggles it would seem to suggest that his bat will cool off.  In any event, August has been a very exciting time for the young catcher and he should take pride in the fact that he has made enormous contributions to the Baltimore Orioles.

Here are the numbers that Caleb Joseph has put up this last week which are more than worthy of player of the week honors

Last 7 Days

H/AB

R

HR

RBI

AVG

OPS

Caleb Joseph

7/19

4

4

8

.368

1.368