After just 28.2 professional innings (all in Double-A, between 2022 and 2023) the Los Angeles Angels chose to bring up reliever Ben Joyce to help their bullpen.
It was a shocking decision, but Joyce was solid upon being assigned to Double-A last year (2.08 ERA) and the organization decided to call him up despite a bit of a control problem this year (13 walks in 15.2 frames this year in Double-A).
The reason why Joyce skipped Triple-A is because his stuff probably won’t get any better.
He has an elite fastball and a slider/cutter hybrid.
The fastball can reach 103 mph, so in all fairness, anything else he throws will make hitters look foolish because he uses his four-seamer around 90 percent of the time.
In case you were wondering, no: it’s not easy to hit a fastball over 101 mph.
Not at all.
In fact, MLB Metrics posted a recreation of what it’s like to hit a 102.3 mph fastball from Joyce.
Here’s what a 102.3 MPH fastball from Ben Joyce looks like as a hitter. Hitting is hard.
— MLB Metrics (@MLBMetrics) June 2, 2023
There you have it.
Next time you are asked about the hardest thing to do in professional sports, show them that clip.
Joyce has pitched two MLB innings and accumulated four strikeouts so far.
There will be many, many more in his future.
On Thursday, he made 2017 AL MVP Jose Altuve of the Houston Astros look like he doesn’t have any bat speed.
Of course, he does have it, but Joyce throws so hard that is incredibly difficult to adjust to his fastball.
He immediately became one of the Angels’ best relievers upon throwing a baseball at the MLB level.NEXT: Angels Rookie Ben Joyce Continues To Show Off His Rocket Arm