He was the Orioles' 2015 Rule 5 pick from the Tampa Bay Rays farm system where he spent the 2015 season with the AA Montgomery Biscuits. For the O's, over 63 Spring Training at bats in 28 games, he hit a robust .397 with 6 doubles, a triple, a home run, and five stolen bases, typically batting in the lead-off spot. The Orioles love keeping their Rule 5 picks anyway but that kind of performance would have led to his making the team regardless of the situation.
Joey was one of three Orioles making his debut for the team on Opening Day, but his was additionally special because it was his MLB debut as well. I use the 1-9 numbered fielding positions on the baseball field as a debut tie-breaker, so Joey, who started in left field (7), narrowly edged out Mark Trumbo in right field (9). and Pedro Alvarez (DH) for the first debut of the 2016 season. I read somewhere online that according to the Elias Sports Bureau, Joey was the first player to start an Opening Day game for the Orioles in the same year as being selected as a Rule 5 pick.
Rickard wasted no time making noise in the regular season, and singled in his first at-bat, and then doubled in his second AB. Unfortunately, a cycle was not in the works, but going 2-4 with a run scored on your Opening Day MLB debut is flat-out amazing. Joey is living the dream right now.
So, you might have noticed that the only three pictures in this post are three copies on my dad's Old Man Cards. Joey was a great signer for me during my Spring Training trip, but the only issue is how few cards exist of him. As far as I can tell, outside of custom cards like my dad's, he is pictured on just three cards, all minor league issues from his time in the Rays' farm system; he is included in the 2013 Bowling Green Hot Rods, 2014 Montgomery Biscuits, and 2015 Charlotte Stone Crabs sets. And none of those cards are particularly easy to come by, so thanks as always to my dad for making these great cards!
Good luck with your career, Joey! I hope it continues as well as it started!
I just picked up his card in the 2012 Hudson Valley set.
With you last post on Kim and Joey I mentioned I was not a fan of the Kim Signing and watching Joey during spring and now the first 2 games I am a huge fan and wish him well. Hope to see if I can pick up one of his minors cards and see if I can get it signed.
Welcome to the Orioles Joey and we wish you much sucess
Nice, did Joey say anything about the cards? I always wonder when you get them signed if anyone ever wants a copy or comments on them, especially a guy like Joey who doesn't even have an MLB card yet.
sg- Very cool, so I guess he must be in at least four minor league sets! It's possible that he's in an all-star or postseason type set as well. Those minor league cards can be hard to track down!
Alan- I think that only time will tell with Kim. While $7 million over 2 years is a ton of money to most of us, it's a relatively low risk signing for an MLB team. But I would say that I am certainly pulling for Joey over Hyun-Soo!
Aaron- I don't recall Joey saying anything, but he signed for me down the first base line before one of the games, so he was in a bit of a hurry. Some guys certainly do notice the cards and comment on them. Mark Trumbo actually did, a lot of times it depends on when and where they sign, and how much of a hurry they are in.
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