3 biggest winners of Angels Spring Training so far
2. LA Angels reliever Ben Joyce actually has a chance at making the team
Ben Joyce is something special. He was taken in the third round by the Angels in the 2022 MLB Draft. He went straight to AA Rocket City after being drafted and pitched very well. He then got an invite to MLB Spring Training and seems to be doing everything Phil Nevin and Angels management could possibly want to include him to do to make the Opening Day roster.
It sounds crazy since Joyce has just 13 innings of professional experience, but I truly believe he has a shot at making this team. At least if Phil Nevin is telling the truth about taking the best 26 guys.
The Angels have been known to call young guys up pretty early, if not prematurely. We've seen first hand with Jo Adell how much he's struggled on the big stage, yet he's only 23 right now.
Joyce is 22 and doesn't turn 23 until September. He's vastly inexperienced and is not on the 40-man roster. He has things working against him, but it still feels like they can't leave him off the roster.
In Cactus League play Joyce has thrown four scoreless innings allowing one hit and striking out four. He has walked four which isn't great, but two of them came in his most recent outing and he still worked his way through trouble. These stats do not include his outing against Team USA when he struck out two including Pete Alonso and pitched a scoreless frame.
Joyce has been consistently used early in games against real MLB hitters. He hasn't allowed a run yet. He has some of the most electric stuff in the game of course headlined by his triple digit heater.
Joyce has everything working against him but is still with the team. He wasn't a part of the most recent roster cuts, and I don't envision him being part of one until he cracks. He's worked his way up from a non-factor to begin 2023 to someone with a real shot. His stuff is too good.