The Los Angeles Angels selected Tennessee reliever Ben Joyce with the 89th pick in the third round of the 2023 MLB Draft on Monday afternoon.
Joyce is the fifth Tennessee player selected in the 2022 MLB Draft joining Drew Gilbert, Jordan Beck, Blade Tidwell, and Trey Lipscomb. Taken with the 89th pick in the draft, Joyce would have been the highest selected Vol a season ago.
Joyce is a fascinating MLB Draft case study. College relievers are rarely selected in the third round but Joyce’s ceiling is extraordinarily high.
Pitching just one season at Tennessee after transferring from Walters State and undergoing Tommy John surgery in the fall of 2020. Once on the mound in Knoxville, Joyce was must-watch entertainment.
Joyce’s fastball lived above 100 mph and peaked at 105 mph against Auburn— the fastest recorded pitch in college baseball history.
The Knoxville native also boasts a changeup and slider that is extremely effective because “he throws a 105 mph” according to Vol outfielder Jordan Beck.
Despite limited collegiate innings pitched, some scouts view Joyce as a potential starting pitcher in professional baseball. Joyce made one start in his Tennessee career, allowing three earned runs in four innings against Georgia.
The “Volunteer Fireman” cruised through three innings in the outing before struggling in the fourth inning.
Joyce posted a 2-1 record and 2.23 ERA in his redshirt-junior season, striking out 53 batters to just 14 walks in 32.1 innings pitched.
Stay tuned to Rocky Top Insider over the next three days for complete coverage of Tennessee in the MLB Draft.
Brining the 🔥 to the City of Angels!
— Tennessee Baseball (@Vol_Baseball) July 18, 2022