Angels can't make same mistake with Ben Joyce like they did with other prospects

No, Ben Joyce doesn't need to be called up.
Sep 23, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Los Angeles Angels relief pitcher Ben Joyce (44) throws against the Minnesota Twins in the seventh inning at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 23, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Los Angeles Angels relief pitcher Ben Joyce (44) throws against the Minnesota Twins in the seventh inning at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports / Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
facebooktwitterreddit

The Los Angeles Angels bullpen has been a disaster this season. Among all American League teams, only the Toronto Blue Jays and Texas Rangers have a higher ERA than the Angels' relief corps. Pitchers like Jose Suarez and Matt Moore have all struggled this season.

As such, it's commonplace for fans and team executives, to begin searching for improvements. Rather than going outside the organization and looking for a trade partner, this is typically the time of year when club's will look to promote from within.

With that in mind, Angels pitching prospect Ben Joyce would seem like an excellent candidate, right? Joyce is already part of the Angels 40-man roster and has been utterly dominant at Double-A Rocket City. But the Halos cannot afford to fall into the same trap that they have for the past few years. There's absolutely no reason to rush Joyce to the major leagues.

LA Angels can't afford to make another mistake with Ben Joyce

The Angels already (somewhat) botched this last year by calling up Joyce in late-May. The Angels brass was incredibly wowed by Joyce's 34.3% strikeout rate down with the Rocket City Trash Pandas and decided to select his contract.

But Perry Minasian and the rest of the Angels' front office seemingly ignored the fact that Joyce was walking nearly 20% of the batters he faced, and jumped him over the Triple-A level in order to promote him straight to the big leagues.

What happened? Joyce continued to walk batters at an unsustainable rate (19%) and suffered an injury. Joyce returned late in the season to make seven relief appearances and once again put too many free runners on base.

LA Angels have failed to develop prospects like Nolan Schanuel and Zach Neto

Angels fans have seen this movie before. Zach Neto was the Halos' first-round draft choice in 2022 and made his major league debut without making a stop at Triple-A. Neto had just 44 professional games under his belt before the Angels decided it was time to elevate him to The Show.

LA did the same thing with Nolan Schanuel. Only this time the Angels decided it would be a great idea for recently selected college player to make his MLB debut during the same season in which he was drafted. Schanuel had 22 minor-league games before joining the Angels' active roster.

What in world are the Angels thinking? This is no way to draft and develop talent. Perhaps it's time to exercise some patience with these top prospects rather than rushing them to the major leagues.

LA Angels need to tap the brakes when it comes to Ben Joyce's development

There's a tried and true method for developing talent — even those players who may be considered advanced by a number of scouts. But for some reason the Angels feel as if these top prospects need to be elevated to major league status before the ink dries on their initial contract.

Not only are the Angels failing to properly develop these players in the minor leagues, but their service time is being accelerated due to impatience. Typically, teams try to preserve a player's service time in order to keep them in the organization as long as possible. The Angels, apparently, have a different philosophy.

While Joyce is already a member of the Halos' 40-man roster, he still has all of minor-league options remaining. Despite his 43.7% strikeout rate at Double-A, Los Angeles should keep Joyce in the minors. If Minasian and Co. are adamant about giving him opportunities against tougher competition, I hear Triple-A is an option. Why not start there?

More LA Angels News from Halo Hangout

manual