NEW YORK—The Yankees are rich with catching prospects, but thanks to the development of 21-year-old Corban Joseph, the system also is brimming with second-base talent.
Promoted from high Class A Tampa to Double-A Trenton on Aug. 3, Joseph moved into the Thunder's starting lineup and drove in seven runs in his first nine games. The lefthanded batter's .233/.333/.433 line included two doubles, two triples and five walks in 30 at-bats.
"He has always hit," farm director Mark Newman said. "The question will be, What kind of power?"
A fourth-round pick in 2008 from Franklin (Tenn.) High, Joseph sported a career .428 slugging percentage through 950 at-bats. Since he weighs 168 pounds on a six-foot frame, Joseph could grow into more power as he matures.
His home run output has increased steadily, from two in 2008 to four in '09 to six in 381 at-bats with Tampa this season, during which time Joseph batted .302/.378/.436.
"The fact that he had 27 doubles in the Florida State League this year tells you the power could come," Newman said.
As for his ability to hit, Joseph began at Franklin and hasn't stopped. In his senior year he batted .510 with 15 homers and 58 RBIs.
A season-ending broken ankle suffered by second baseman David Adams, who batted .309/.393/.507 in 152 at-bats for Trenton, cleared the way for Joseph's promotion.
Defensively, Joseph doesn't turn the double play like Adams, but not many Double-A second basemen do.
"He has really made nice progress," Newman said of the converted high school shortstop. "He has good feet and is turning the double play better."
• The Yankees had agreed to include Adams, along with Triple-A catcher Jesus Montero, in their trade offer to the Mariners for Cliff Lee in early July. Ultimately, the Mariners dealt Lee to the Rangers instead because they preferred rookie first baseman Justin Smoak.
• Righthander Brett Marshall was 1-2, 3.38 through nine starts for low Class A Charleston. The 20-year-old, who missed 11 months while recovering from Tommy John surgery, had notched 36 strikeouts and 18 walks in 48 innings. A sixth-round pick out of high school in 2008, Marshall signed for an above-slot $850,000 bonus.