Joey Emmer, the son of a Chicago barber, grew up in his pops barbershop sweeping hair and listening to Rogues on the radio rooting for hometown favorites like Tom Thompson and ‘Cactus’ Prinsen. He remembers listening to the ’75 Classic Cup in the shop everyone huddled around the radio, waiting for that final out to finally be able to celebrate with the rest of the city. He remember the parade passing right out front with the cup feet from him. The 9 year old Joey recalls looking up at his dad and saying “I’m going to win that one day and bring it right back here”.
Fast forward 10 years and a 19 year old Emmer is a senior at the prestigious Providence-St. Mel Private School putting together and outstanding resume on and off the field batting .548/.587/.885 with 33 RBI and 41 runs scored striking out only twice in 121 at bats. Emmer also had a 4.0 GPA and had finished one and a half years of college before graduating in 1985. The 19 year old had multiple offers from several prestigious schools and was planning on attending the University of Illinois on a full ride academic scholarship. Joey was working in his dads shop where he had learned to cut hair and had his own chair to make a little extra money in the summer. He cut all his teammates hair in high school. “It was almost like a ritual, a weird one I’ll admit but we let him do it anyway. As long as he kept hitting we didn’t care what he did” said a former teammate. “The day of the draft was no different” he said, “I didn’t really think I was going to get drafted to be honest, with how short our season was and the lack of competition we played back home in Illinois. So when GM Borkowski Called me and told me that I had been take in the first round that they love my work ethic and intelligence, I was shocked. I had a new favorite team The New York City Baseball Club.”
Joey started out in Rookie U20 ball as most would have thought where he was performing really well until he went down with a torn quad and was forced to miss about 2 months right in the meat of the season. He came back strong helping the U20 Birmingham Rebels to there first ever playoff series. In the 47 game Emmer did play in ’85 for the Rebels he posted a 3.4 WAR batting .415/.469/.548 with driving in 24 runs and 12 doubles. So far this season the 20 year old is hitting .341/.401/.472 at Coastal Carolina in 44 games so far. We have seen a slight uptick this season in power with him hitting 4 homers so far this season driving in 26 runs all while playing stellar defense at 2nd base.
There is a lot to like about Joey his speed, his contact, and his ability to his to drive the ball to the gap. If he can get his swing down he could be a force to be reckoned with for years to come in The Baseball Classic and is looking at a long career if he can be one of those few high school drafted stars! Oh and if you’re curious yes he is still cutting his teammates hair, the ones that will let him anyway.