Matt Joyce is going to be a fantastic hitter one day soon.
When I wrote that I didn't think "one day soon" would be "within the next seven days", funny how those things work out. Joyce has only been up for two games and here he has two homeruns, a double, and a single. I talked about his impressive power display at Triple-A a lot in that post, and so far he's not disappointing. Outside of the handful of games he was up during the first week, I hadn't seen too much of Joyce. Everything he hits sounds like it's squared up and blasted. Everything. After Joyce's double, I exchanged a few messages with the ol' scout buddy. He was in attendance on Sunday and says that Joyce's bat has a lot more pop than when he saw him in the minors. I'm guessing the bomb of a homerun Joyce hit that day had something to do with that, but still, the power, it's there, it's beautiful.
Hit Tracker's page for Joyce has both of his homeruns listed for this season entering tonight. Both are past the 350 foot mark down the right field side, one is beyond the 400 foot mark, the other is a few feet away. I wouldn't be shocked to see tonight's join the 400+ foot mark. I went back and checked Joyce's 2008 homeruns. Only one is listed below the 350' mark, and that is right on the line. Four of his homeruns lay beyond the 400' mark, and one is on top of it.
Joyce and David Price are exactly what this team needs to help get back into this race. Go back to when I wrote that Joyce was going to force his way into the lineup by crushing righties. Entering tonight the Rays team OPS against righties was .793, versus lefties: .832. That's not a good split to have when nearly double the amount of plate appearances have came against righties. Joyce helps to erase some of that gap. As much as I appreciate Gabe Gross' value and talent, his bat is nowhere near what Joyce's can be right now.
The right field bleachers should get familiar with Matt Joyce. He's going to be sending a ton of souvenirs their way over the years.