by Cori Hilsgen
St. John’s University senior Joey Stock, who is a designated hitter/pitcher for the college’s baseball team, was recently named 2020 D3baseball.com Preseason All-America honorable mention.
The Preseason All-America team is selected from previous years’ All-American and All-Region nominations.
“The chance to be named a preseason All-American is definitely a great opportunity,” Stock said. “It is awesome to get this type of recognition, but with that being said, other teams are recognizing that too and are planning to expose my weaknesses.”
He said he needs to continue to stay focused and take things one game at a time, one inning at a time, one pitch at a time.
St. John’s University assistant baseball coach Jason Spohn has worked with Stock as his pitching coach.
“This will be our fourth year working with Joe and we are very excited to see what his future holds,” Spohn said. “Joe has earned a lot of well-deserved attention by lighting up radar guns last summer and by hitting with a lot of power last spring. He knows a solid year on the field this spring could open an exciting opportunity come June. Joe has also developed into a great leader on and off the field. He is quick to help out with community events, which stems from the strong foundation his parents have built in raising him.”
Stock was named last spring to the American Baseball Coaches’ Association and D3baseball.com All-Midwest Region first team after leading the St. John’s team with a batting average of .353. In Spring, he hit 12 home runs and was intentionally walked eight times and broke the college’s 19-year record for single-season home runs.
Last summer, Stock played his second season with the St. Cloud Rox, a collegiate summer baseball team that plays in the Northwoods League. He finished the year with a 2.50 ERA, three saves and 19 strikeouts. He also participated in the league’s Major League Dreams Showcase.
Stock was the only student from St. John’s University who was voted as a preseason All-American this year. However, starting outfielder, Wyatt Ulrich, was an All-American his freshman year. One other player in the conference, James Green from St. Mary’s, was voted to be a preseason All-American second team this year.
“Since this is my last year of college baseball, I just want to enjoy and get as much out of my final season as I can,” Stock said. “It is unbelievable how fast the first three years went, and I just want to not take a second for granted as my time in college is almost up.”
Stock, who is studying communication at St. John’s, said this is an awesome honor but added that it is not about where you start but where you finish.
“Anyone can be a preseason All-American, but it is about the body of work you put in and the results you show at the end of the year (that) is what really matters,” he said. “We have a great group of guys and we have a lot of depth at every position. We all feel that another regional tournament birth is something we can do again”
St. John’s was ranked No. 25 in Collegiate Baseball’s Preseason National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III poll. Last year, the team ended the season with a 32-14 record.
Players will open the season March 2-6 in Fort Myers, Florida, and then play March 21-24 in Tucson, Arizona. Conference play begins March 28 at Gustavus Adolphus in St. Peter.
Author: Cori Hilsgen
Hilsgen is a contributing reporter for the Newsleaders. The central Minnesota native is a wife, mother and grandmother. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Management and Communication from Concordia University – St. Paul, MN and enjoys learning about and sharing other people’s stories through the pages of the Newsleaders.