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Los Angeles Angels Top Relief Prospect Ben Joyce talks with AngelsWin.com


Chuck

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Photo by: Cristina Byrne-Sternberg/Rocket City Trash Pandas

By Chuck Richter, AngelsWin.com

105.5. That’s a number. But it’s not just any number. That’s the speed of a fastball thrown by Ben Joyce—the fastest pitch ever thrown in college baseball and the third fastest pitch ever sitting just behind two pitches thrown by Aroldis Chapman. Joyce didn’t just do it once—he consistently threw above 103.5 mph, or faster than every pitch thrown in the Major Leagues last year.

Joyce recently hit 102 MPH in what was a key 9th inning to hold score before the Rocket City Trash Pandas came back in the bottom of the inning on a walk-off Preston Palmeiro.

Drafted by the Angels in the 3rd round this year, 89th overall, Ben Joyce is a tall (6’ 5”) right hander with a solid build (225 lbs) who has become part of the exciting AA Rocket City Trash Pandas. For Ben, coming from the University of Tennessee which was ranked #1 going into the College World Series, joining the Trash Pandas on their playoff run is an exciting cap to a great year. The thrill of going from one winning program to another inspires his confidence and motivates him to do better.

Chuck Richter, our Founder and Executive Director, recently caught up with Ben Joyce to find out more about what it was like to be drafted by the Angels, his style of play, what he’s working on, and about him as a person. It’s a great interview with one of the Angels rising prospects—one that we hope will be in Anaheim for many years and pitching meaningful innings for the team.

Speaking of his style of play, here's a snapshot of the type of fire (105.5 MPH) he brings from his fastball velocity, and the fiery passion he brings to the mound. 

Click below to watch our interview with Angels pitcher Ben Joyce.

Here's the complete interview transcript for the hard of hearing. 

AngelsWin.com: This is Chuck Richter from AngelsWin.com. I’m here today with Ben Joyce. Ben, how’re you doing?

Ben Joyce: Doing great.

AngelsWin.com: Hey, real quick. I know you just got here, but how exciting is it to be a part of this Trash Panda team that’s in a playoff run?

Ben Joyce: Yeah. Yeah, it’s been awesome. I mean, coming from Tennessee, we had a really competitive team and jumping right into another one, it’s been a lot of fun. And they welcomed me right away, and the atmosphere here is amazing. So, I couldn’t have asked for anything more.

AngelsWin.com: You’re not too far away, either. That’s great.

Ben Joyce: No, not at all. A couple hours from home and a lot of Tennessee fans. So, it’s pretty cool.

AngelsWin.com: Yeah. What was Draft Day like for you?

Ben Joyce: It was a crazy day. I mean, it was something that I dreamed of my whole life. And then leading up to the call, I was pretty nervous and finally got the call and got a little emotional, honestly. It was a crazy day. It was awesome to have my family there and my brother and my girlfriend. So, it was a cool experience.

AngelsWin.com: That’s awesome. When did you know the Angels were interested in you?

Ben Joyce: I really didn’t. I talked with them at the combine, and then, honestly, I didn’t know, really, where I was going to end up. It was, kind of, up in the air. And then, almost three picks before, I got calls when I got called by them. So, it was pretty crazy to hear that call, and now I was going to be an Angel. It was exciting.

AngelsWin.com: That’s awesome. What will Angel fans come to learn about you, the player, your style, and you, the person?

Ben Joyce: Yeah. I mean, I’m very competitive. I’m going to go out there every day and give it all I got. Maybe try to light up the radar gun a little bit, but at the same time, I’m trying to be a complete pitcher. So, it’s—I’m going to go out there and give it everything I got every time. And that’s what you’re going to get from me.

AngelsWin.com: On that note of being a complete pitcher, we know that your fastball, you’ve hit 105; you bring it. But what are your secondary pitches that you throw?

Ben Joyce: Yeah. I’m doing a slider and a splitter. The slider is something I’ve been working on a lot with Wuertz and the all the Angels guys ever since I got drafted. So, it’s been continuing to get better, and it’s something that I’m going to continue to throw regularly in the future.

AngelsWin.com: Okay. What do you think you need to work on to reach your full potential and make it to the big leagues?

Ben Joyce: Yeah, I think for me, just continuing to get in-game repetitions. And I was out the year before last with Tommy John’s; I just continue to get out there and get game experience and throw those secondary pitches more consistently. I think that’s the next step for me.

AngelsWin.com: Okay. Are you left to your own devices in terms of, like, workout, diet, anything baseball related? Or does the organization—the Angels organization—kind of, steer you in a direction or oversee that?

Ben Joyce: No, it’s been great, because, I mean, they know that you got what it takes to get here, and you got a good routine if you’re here. So, they, kind of, let you do your own thing, and they’re there for guidance and helping you if you need things. And it’s been awesome to have those resources available, but also be able to, kind of, do your own thing and do what got you here and continue to stay healthy and continue to get better as a baseball player.

AngelsWin.com: Yeah. I know you just got here, but who has impressed you the most that you’ve seen so far—

Ben Joyce: Yeah, I mean, honestly, the whole bullpen has impressed me a lot. Just how they go out there and continually get outs and get out of big situations. And, honestly, just their mentality; they’re all really level-headed, and they don’t ever get too high or too low. So, it’s been cool to, kind of, be in with that group and see how they work.

AngelsWin.com: Awesome. Best game to date: high school, college, or pro?

Ben Joyce: Yeah. I’ll probably have to say, when I threw against Auburn this year against Sunny D. That’s probably one of my better games this year and one that I’ll probably won’t forget. That was the game I hit 105. So, I probably won’t ever forget that one; that was a good one.

AngelsWin.com: That’s cool. When did you really first commit to playing baseball?

Ben Joyce: I was three years old, and I was playing baseball then. I have a twin brother, and we’ve always just, kind of, gravitated towards baseball ever since then. So…

AngelsWin.com: Okay. Who are your favorite players or teams, growing up?

Ben Joyce: Yeah, my parents are from Pittsburgh, so I’ve been a big Pittsburgh Pirates fan, but I, kind of, just am a fan of baseball. So, growing up, my favorite pitcher’s Max Scherzer. Jacob deGrom. All those guys—

AngelsWin.com: Good guys.

Ben Joyce: —very fun to watch. And I’m a big, big Mike Trout fan, and watching him play is pretty special.

AngelsWin.com: Have you got to meet him, yet?

Ben Joyce: I have not, no. That’ll be [crosstalk 00:04:03].

AngelsWin.com: That’ll be awesome. Who do you model your play after?

Ben Joyce: Honestly, I wouldn’t say my mechanics after anyone. Mentality-wise, I’ve always looked up to Max Scherzer. Just his competitiveness, and the way he approaches pitching and all his routines. So…

AngelsWin.com: I love the fire he brings on the mound—

Ben Joyce: It’s awesome.

AngelsWin.com: Who is one major leaguer you want to face the most when you make it to the big leagues?

Ben Joyce: I don’t know. Honestly, I don’t have one in mind. It’s just, kind of, I’m excited to, hopefully, get up there and face all of them. So…

AngelsWin.com: Okay. Real quick, Lightning Round. Favorite movie?

Ben Joyce: The Dark Knight.

AngelsWin.com: Awesome. Favorite song or artist?

Ben Joyce: I’m a big Morgan Wallen fan.

AngelsWin.com: Yeah. We got that [unintelligible 00:04:39] earlier. Favorite video game?

Ben Joyce: I don’t play it anymore, but I was a big Fortnite guy. [crosstalk 00:04:45].

AngelsWin.com: Okay. [laugh] What would be a perfect day for you away from the ballpark?

Ben Joyce: I’m big into hiking; going out on the lake. It’s anything outdoors for me. Playing with my dogs is pretty good, too.

AngelsWin.com: When you’re done playing baseball, have you thought about what your next career will look like?

Ben Joyce: I’d really like to be a strength coach after baseball. That’s, kind of, be something I like to get into.

AngelsWin.com: Oh, you’re fit, man—

Ben Joyce: Thank you.

AngelsWin.com: —Thank you so much for your time today, Ben.

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