Pittsburgh Pirates: Two Unique Relief Prospects in 2022 Draft

HOUSTON, TEXAS - MARCH 05: Ben Joyce #44 of the Tennessee Volunteers pitches in the back eighth inning against the Baylor Bears during the Shriners Children's College Classic at Minute Maid Park on March 05, 2022 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TEXAS - MARCH 05: Ben Joyce #44 of the Tennessee Volunteers pitches in the back eighth inning against the Baylor Bears during the Shriners Children's College Classic at Minute Maid Park on March 05, 2022 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
2 of 2
Next
Pittsburgh Pirates
HOUSTON, TEXAS – MARCH 05: Ben Joyce #44 of the Tennessee Volunteers pitches in the back eighth inning against the Baylor Bears during the Shriners Children’s College Classic at Minute Maid Park on March 05, 2022 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

RHP Ben Joyce

Ben Joyce has become one of college baseball’s most popular players. Everyone has been talking about Joyce. He’s a right-hander from the University of Tennessee. As we talked about at the start of this article, not many relief-only prospects go early in drafts, but Joyce isn’t your typical relief prospect.

Joyce, who has earned the nickname the Volunteer Firefighter, has consistently been making appearances on Pitching Njnja for his 100+ MPH fastball. He’s hitting 104 MPH on the radar, but he isn’t just a fastball-only guy. He also throws a nasty slider that sits around 90 MPH, well over 10 MPH slower than his four-seamer.

Joyce has tossed six innings with the University of Tennessee and hasn’t allowed a run yet. He’s also struck out 9 of the first 25 batters he has faced. Although many young flamethrowers struggle with command, he’s only allowed 2 walks. For a guy who throws 100 MPH consistently, he can hit the strike zone fairly often, according to FanGraphs.

Spring Competition Heating Up. dark. Next

I know what many of you might be thinking. This is Tommy John written all over it. Well, in Joyce’s defense, he’s already had Tommy John surgery. Of course, there have been two-timers when it comes to the surgery, but you still can’t ignore a 100-103 MPH fastball. Even in an age where the average fastball MPH is reaching 94 MPH, touching triple digits is still an impressive feat and will always get attention from Major League teams.