MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) – For the second time this week, a Rocket City Trash Pandas player is headed to the big leagues.
The Los Angeles Angels have selected the contract of 23-year-old right-handed pitcher Ben Joyce, according to the team’s website.
Angels manager Phil Nevin dropped the news in his post-game press conference when asked about the status of Angels left-handed pitcher Matt Moore following the Angels loss to the Marlins Saturday night.
“Matty pulled an oblique yesterday [May 26] and will be an IL,” Nevin said after the Angels game against the Miami Marlins last night. “Ben Joyce will be here tomorrow.”
With seven of the Angels top 20 prospects being pitchers, Nevin explained why they chose Joyce over a list of other guys.
“We are going through the guys and his last few outings have been really good,” Nevin said. “Had some consistency to his last few which we like and actually when we called up Bachman Joyce was in that conversation as well.”
Known for his fastball, Joyce was a third-round selection in the 2022 MLB Draft out of Tennessee.
For Tennessee in 2022, Joyce set a record by throwing the fastest pitch in college baseball history on May 1 against Auburn with a fastball that hit 105.5 miles per hour, ranking among the fastest pitches in the history of the game.
Joyce becomes the second player for the 2022 MLB Draft to reach the major league level, joining former Trash Pandas and new Angels teammate Zach Neto.
The pitcher spoke on what it means to him to be called up for the first time in his career.
It means everything. It’s what I’ve been working for since I was 3-years-old playing baseball trying to dream of making it to the big leagues,” said Joyce. “Finally hearing that call, it means everything. It’s all the hard work that you put in it’s paying off and it’s awesome to hear.”
Over his minor league career, Joyce has appeared in 27 games posting a 3.45 earned run average and striking out 44 batters.
Without Joyce, the Rocket City Trash Pandas will close out their series against the Chattanooga Lookouts Sunday at 6:35 p.m.