« Ian Kennedy | Main | A.L. Player Of The Month For May »

June 06, 2006

Joba Chamberlain

The Yankees 2nd pick in the 2006 first-year player draft was Joba Chamberlain. MLB.com just had a feature on him last month. Here are the highlights:

For Joba Chamberlain, there aren't enough hours in the day to savor life's experiences.

At 20, he recently felt the unbridled joy of becoming a father. He's a star pitcher for the Nebraska Cornhuskers, his hometown team, and focused on helping the Huskers get back to the College World Series.

After graduating from Lincoln Northeast High School, Chamberlain was battling a weight problem and not ready for college baseball. He took a job with the city maintenance department, cleaning restrooms and grooming fields for others to play on. All the while, Chamberlain was changing his body with workouts and a better nutritional routine.

"He was heavy and out of shape," Nebraska coach Mike Anderson said. "He lost almost 50 pounds."

After working through the fall semester two years ago, Chamberlain enrolled at Division II Nebraska-Kearney. He went just 3-6 with a 5.23 earned run average as a freshman, but the big thing was that he was playing the game he loved again. Although the record and ERA weren't special, Nebraska began to gradually get interested in the potential as Chamberlain topped 90 miles per hour on the radar gun with a body that was gaining core strength.

Chamberlain went 10-2 with a 2.74 ERA last year, earning All-Big 12 and third-team All-America honors. He struck out 13 in eight innings against Miami in the Super Regional and went seven innings against Arizona State for Nebraska's first College World Series victory.

MLB.com currently has the kid listed at six-two, two-thirty. When someone six-two says they're two-thirty, they're probably closer to two-fifty.

Why draft a 22-year-old with a weight problem with the 41st-overall pick? Granted, there are reports that Joba's poise and competitive nature are off the charts.

I would probably like this pick if it was a 3rd-rounder. But, when you're talking "Top 50" in the draft, you try and get something with less risks. The weight thing is a red flag to me. Sure, some people can beat that. But, that's the exception rather than the rule.

Time will tell.

Posted by Steve Lombardi at June 6, 2006 02:13 PM


He does look...wide.
but he doesn't look too out of shape to me.

Posted by: James Varghese [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 6, 2006 02:47 PM

He's in shape, it just so happens to be pear-shaped. If the Yanks asked him to drop 20-30 pounds, he'd do it I believe.

Posted by: Mike A. [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 6, 2006 02:54 PM

So he'll be the Yanks answer to Milliliter?

Posted by: rbj [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 6, 2006 03:01 PM

Just because he's big does not mean he has a weight problem. And the fact that he has ALREADY dropped 50 lbs shows his work ethic...

As for "plus sized" MLB'ers, I can think of Cecil Fielder, Dave LaPoint, Bob Wickman, David Wells, CC Sabathia, Terry Forster, David West, Chris Hammond, Sam Horn, George Scott, Mo Vaughn, Luis Sojo, David Weathers, Charlie Kerfeld, Mike Fetters, & Juan Berenguer just to name a few...

Posted by: Raf [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 6, 2006 03:10 PM

Don't forget CC Sabathia and Bartolo Colon.

Posted by: MJ [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 6, 2006 03:22 PM

Besides, just think of the nickname potential!

"Joba the Hutt"

Posted by: carla [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 6, 2006 03:40 PM

He could have his own cheering section - the Joba's Witnesses. See what you've started, Carla? OK, I was already thinking up bad puns before your post, but I wasn't going to actually use them until you set the precedent.

Posted by: hopbitters [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 6, 2006 04:53 PM

Solid pick.

Elsewhere, Dellin Betances was picked later on. Will he sign?

Posted by: Don [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 6, 2006 06:51 PM

This was a redemption pick for taking Kennedy with 21.

Posted by: Jeteupthemiddle [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 6, 2006 07:45 PM

I want to start out by saying that anyone stating that joba chamberlain is out of shape has obviously never watched him pitch. He is 6-3 and 225lbs. He has lost over 50 pounds to be where he is now. For being "overweight" he has a pretty impressive record. in 2005 he went 10-2 with a 2.81 ERA in 20 appearences Strikin out 130 in 118.2 innings. And he was bigger in 05 then he was in 06. Plus I would like to point out that 4 of the pitchers that are currently pitching for the Yaknees are bigger then joba and they are the same height.

Posted by: HuskerGirl44 [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 15, 2006 05:35 PM

I have known Joba since we were 10. I played baseball with and against him for 9 years. I have to say that yes, he did have have a weight problem. There is no secret about that. However, he has indeed lost 50lbs. He looks great. I hadnt talked to him for a while when he took off for Kearney and when he showed up in Lincoln, he was a changed man. I had the oppertunitiy to face him 2 summers ago in a summer college wood bat league, and I must say I was impressed. He is a great kid with a good head on his shoulders. His 1 dream in life was just to play ball. Thats his 1 love in life(other than his beautiful child). he is a hard worker and an easy person to coach. he's always interested in improving his game. The yanks,even though I'm not a yanks fan, are very lucky to have him and got a steal. He'll be in the bigs some day, no doubt about it. he no longer fights the weight problem, and had changed his lifestyle to make sure of that. I'm not saying he will be a hall of famer or anything, but you'll see him on the hill.

Posted by: viking5 [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 1, 2006 12:40 PM

Has he signed with the Yankees yet???

Posted by: YankeeBaseball [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 1, 2006 07:46 PM

Yes, and he's pitching for them now in the Winter Leagues.

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 2, 2006 12:16 AM