by Cori Hilsgen
Joey Stock, a St. John’s University junior designated hitter, has been seeing the ball well and was recently named the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Week April 22, named to the D3baseball.com National Team of the Week that same evening and voted the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Division III Hitter of the Week April 24.
The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association honor is for games played April 15-21 and doesn’t include the Johnnies April 23 doubleheader sweep of the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul.
He also recently signed with the St. Cloud Rox team and said he “is very excited to get that opportunity to pitch for them again.” The St. Cloud Rox team plays in the Northwoods League, a collegiate summer baseball league with teams of top players from throughout North America.
Stock said a recent highlight for him this season was when he hit a walk-off three-run home run against Thiel College of Greenville, Pennsylvania, in Fort Myers, Florida.
“That was a great win and experience I will not forget,” he said.
The conference season started very slow for the St. John’s University Johnnies and for Stock. However, during the week of April 22, the team won seven of eight games and won two big conference games against the University of St. Thomas.
Prior to that, Stock was hitting .188 (3-16). After winning two big conference games, he was 4-8 with two home runs, a double and seven RBI. The team also played and swept St. Olaf College of Northfield and Stock was 5-8 with two more home runs, a double and seven more RBI.
The following day he hit for the cycle against Augsburg University. The Johnnies lost in game one and Stock had a single, double and a triple for hits. The team won the next game and he hit a home run to complete the cycle for the day. Stock finished 4-7 with three runs scored and two RBI.
During the Johnnies April 23 sweep against the University of St. Thomas, winning two one-run games, Stock finished that doubleheader 4-7 with two home runs, four RBI and three runs scored.
During those eight games, he was batting .567 (17-30) with 10 extra-base hits including seven home runs, 20 RBI and 13 runs scored.
Stock batted .565 (13-23) with eight extra-base hits, including five home runs, an OPS of 1.977, 16 RBI and 10 runs scored as St. John’s University (24-9, 9-5 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic) went 5-1 on the road mid-April. He started the week with only three hits in his previous 16 at-bats (.188).
Stock had four home runs in three consecutive games, one in each game of the April 16 sweep at Bethel and two April 19 at St. Olaf and an added solo in the April 20 game at Augsburg.
He went 4-7 with two more home runs, four RBI and three runs scored at St. Thomas and is now batting .567 (17-30) with 10 extra-base hits, including seven home runs, 20 RBI and 13 runs scored over eight games.
Stock’s nine home runs tie him for the second most in a St. John’s University season, behind Brent Schloe’s 11 in 2000.
“Lately he’s been on a tear and has been a real plus for our team,” said Jerry Haugen, head coach at St. John’s. “He secured the designated hitter spot and has been a real boost for our offense getting us on base at a much-needed time. This is crunch time and when it really counts.”
“Joey joined us for the second half of the season last summer, pitching in relief during six games,” said Mike Johnson, general manager of the St. Cloud Rox Baseball Club. “He immediately showed he was capable of competing at this level when he struck out the side in his first inning with the Rox. He’s having a great season at the plate with St. John’s. We are excited to have him coming back for the 2019 season.”
Stock is also a pitcher who has hit a speed of 94 mph a couple of times.
He usually throws a four-seam and two-seam fastball as his primary pitches. He also has a curveball and has been developing a changeup.
Stock started playing baseball in Cold Spring after his family moved there when he was 7 years old. He later played in Cold Spring little leagues and travel leagues.
He also played legion ball in St. Joseph from eighth grade until he graduated high school.
He didn’t really get a lot of attention from college scouts while playing in high school while attending St. John’s Prep School which is a Class 1A. He had a few discussions with other colleges but played for St. John’s University.
He also played for the St. Joseph Joes and the Cold Spring Springer’s amateur baseball teams.
His plans were to originally also play for the Bismarck Larks Northwoods League team with college roommates, but that didn’t work out when an injured player was able to return sooner than expected.
Stock attended St. Joseph Catholic School when it was the St. Joseph Lab School for elementary school and St. John’s Prep school from sixth grade until graduating high school.
He is majoring in communications at St. John’s University.
His father, Tom, played baseball for North Dakota State University and amateur baseball for St. Joseph and Regal. His mother, Lori, graduated from the College of St. Benedict with a nursing degree. Stock’s brother, Jake, graduated from St. John’s University in 2017.
His grandparents, Dick and Joyce Stock of St. Joseph, are huge baseball fans of his and enjoy following his career.