There’s a modern day Rick Vaughn heating up the diamond, only he’s not wild and he’s not from the California Penal league. He shoots straight and he’s in the SEC.
Tennessee redshirt junior Ben Joyce gave South Carolina hitters a taste of the heater this weekend, throwing three consecutive pitches of more than 100 mph – including a fastball clocked at 104 mph on the radar gun.
Joyce, 6’5 and a native of Knoxville, recorded the last two outs of the Volunteers’ 10-0 Sunday win over the Gamecocks. Amongst his final five tosses were two pitches that hit 102 on the gun, one that clocked in at 103, a timely changeup (91) and the 104 mph laser. Some believe that pitch is the fastest ever recorded at the college level.
If only they had some way of tracking those numbers…
Facing Ben Joyce…an At Bat from Hell. 🔥
102mph, 103mph & 104mph Fastballs.
102mph Fastball (for the K). pic.twitter.com/PCtnTEtU5G
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) March 20, 2022
In nine appearances for Vols this season, Joyce has 10 strikeouts and a 0.00 ERA. If we didn’t know any better, we’d ask if he put snot on the ball.
Thanks to his propensity to light up the radar gun, Vols fans have coined Joyce the “Volunteer Fireman,” one of the most appropriate nicknames in recent memory.
Since Statcast began recording pitch speeds at the Major League level in 2008, only five pitchers have thrown 104 mph or faster.
Joyce, 21, missed all of last season after undergoing Tommy John surgery in October 2020. ProspectsLive currently has him ranked as the 103rd best MLB 2022 prospect. But if he keeps hitting triple digits, there’s no doubt he’ll move up the rankings.
With SEC bragging rights on the line, Joyce and the 5th-ranked Volunteers visit top-ranked Ole Miss this weekend for a three-game series.
Follow along on Twitter: @OhioAF