After a long holiday weekend in Northern Michigan its time to get back to Baseball. Hope you all had a great holiday too.
Coming into the current season Joyce was virtually undrafted in all formats. He was projected to be a platoon player at best with super utility man Ben Zobrist getting the majority of the starts in RF for The Rays. That strategy for Maddon lasted about 10 days. From the 2nd week of the season Joyce has been a fixture in Tampa’s OF. He has played in 50 of the Rays’ 53 games and started 44 of those with a majority coming in RF and a handful over in LF. Joyce started the season batting in the 7th hole but after a .348 April he had moved into the cleanup spot where he has stayed. Even after that .348 BA for April Joyce was still a waiver wire after thought. No one thought he would keep hitting because he was a .274 career hitter who has never been an everyday player. Now that May is ending it may be too late to jump on the Joyce bandwagon. Not only has he kept up his current hitting but he has increased his BA to .368 for the year. Here is what his month of May looks like. He is 35 for 85 for a .412 clip with 6 HR and 19 RBI. That type of hitting has put him as the 8th best hitting OF in Fantasy to date and has the 3rd highest OPS (1.046) only trailing Bautista and Berkman. This is due to his incredible .426 OBP.
Fantasy owners all knew he could hit but were shied away by the potential lack of playing time back on draft day. Worry no more. He will be playing for that mad scientist Joe Maddon until the end of the decade. He is currently someone who continues to stuff the stat sheet on a nightly basis. Whether it be a grand slam against Minnesota or the 2 triples game against Florida, Joyce is a true hitting machine this year. If you have any weaknesses in your OF look to pick up Joyce, via trade or waiver. Like I mentioned earlier he went from being undrafted, to being owned in 30% of leagues to start May, to 87% of leagues today.
If we project his current numbers throughout the year we have a line of 24 HR and 84 RBI with 10 SB. The BA should trend downward but could hover above .300 in that line-up. The Rays should settle into a spot where Joyce consistently hits behind Longoria thus producing numerous RBI opportunities and good pitches to hit. So let’s give Joyce a final line of 25 HR 96 RBI and 12 SB. With that type of production you are looking at a Shin-Soo Choo or Nelson Cruz type of player, worthy of a top draft pick in 2012.?.