Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tigers' rookie and Armwood grad visits amid a hitting surge

SEFFNER — Matt Joyce lingered at the Tropicana Field clubhouse where visiting players pick up their allotment of tickets. He needed another fistful.

"Twenty tickets, and it's not enough," said the Armwood High School graduate, whose rapid rise from mid level prospect to Detroit Tigers rookie made for a taxing return home last weekend at Tropicana Field. It's a happy hassle he never thought would come so quickly, or with such fanfare.

Called up in early May, Joyce hit five homers in 18 games before being sent back to Triple-A Toledo. Then he stopped seeing fastballs, and his average dipped to .208.

Recalled June 29, he hit five homers in his next 18 games to become one of four players since 1999 to hit 10 in his first 36 games.

The others are Mike Jacobs (29 games), Albert Pujols (32) and Adam Dunn (36).

Only 13 players have reached 10 homers faster since 1954.

"I saw a lot more fastballs in the strike zone," Joyce said of his second stint. "And I think just over the past year I've learned how to drive the ball, where before I was still making adjustments."

After Sunday's game, Joyce was batting .279 with 10 doubles, two triples, 10 home runs and 25 RBIs for the year.

"He's done a good job," manager Jim Leyland said. "He has his moments, obviously. His inexperience shows up at times, but I've been very impressed. He has a good sound when he hits (the ball). I like him a lot."

Joyce, 24, was discovered as a junior at Florida Southern when he played well during an annual exhibition game with the Tigers.

"We tied them my junior year. I made a couple good plays, hit a couple balls hard," Joyce said. "But I don't think their overall decision (to draft me) came from that. It definitely helped, though."

Tigers' rookie and Armwood grad visits amid a hitting surge 08/07/08 [Last modified: Thursday, August 7, 2008 4:31am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Cubs down Dodgers 3-2; force NLCS Game 5 Thursday

    Ml

    CHICAGO — Javier Baez snapped an 0-for-20 skid with two home runs, former Ray Wade Davis hung on for a six-out save and the Cubs avoided a sweep, holding off the Dodgers 3-2 Wednesday night in Game 4 of the NL Championship Series.

  2. One of the best places for investing in a rental house is in Tampa Bay

    Real Estate

    Two Tampa Bay ZIP Codes are drawing national attention.

    . If you're looking to invest in a house to rent out, few places are better than  ZIP Code 34607 in Hernando County's Spring Hill area, according to ATTOM Data Solutions.
[LANCE ROTHSTEIN   |  Times
 file photo]

  3. Bucs' Vernon Hargreaves: 'I'm not making any plays'

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Eli Manning gathered his receivers together on the sideline during the Giants' Week 4 game against the Bucs and told them he planned to target the weakest link of the secondary all afternoon.

    Patriots receiver Chris Hogan gets position in front of Bucs cornerback Vernon Hargreaves for a 5-yard touchdown pass in New England’s win on Oct. 5.
  4. Suspect in Maryland office park shooting is apprehended

    Nation

    EDGEWOOD, Md. — A man with a lengthy criminal past who was fired from a job earlier this year for punching a colleague showed up for work at a countertop company on Wednesday and shot five of his co-workers has been arrested, authorities said. Three of them were killed and two critically wounded.

    Harford County, Md., Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler shows a picture of Radee Labeeb Prince, the suspect in the workplace shootings.
  5. Lightning's J.T. Brown to stop anthem protest, focus on community involvement

    Lightning Strikes

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Lightning wing J.T. Brown will no longer raise his first as a protest during the national anthem before games.

    J.T. Brown says he will work more with the Tampa police and groups that serve at-risk young people.