Joyner drafted in 30th round

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, June 13, 2018

“Be humble. Be hungry, and always be the hardest worker in the room.”

East Brewton’s Tyler Joyner said he’s never been the most athletic person on the field, but Joyner has worked diligently over his baseball career, absorbing every ounce of knowledge and critiques from his coaches over the years, something that paid dividends to the young man last week.

Joyner, who graduated from W.S. Neal High School in 2014, played two seasons at Jefferson Davis Community College and was the pitcher for the University of North Alabama Lions, was drafted last week in the 30th round and the 385th pick of the MLB draft by the Baltimore Orioles.

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Joyner said he was at work Wednesday when he received text messages congratulating him on his draft.

He said he had only talked to a few teams but playing major league ball has always been a dream of his.

Joyner’s draft is big news for the local community, as well, as the University of North Alabama.

He is only the third person to be drafted from W.S. Neal and there hasn’t been a draft in about 20 years. He is also the 15th player in program history at UNA to be drafted.

“It shows anybody can do it and I am excited to have the opportunity to play professional baseball,” Joyner said.

Joyner had quite the career at UNA.

With his Lions’ career, he started all 14 games that he pitched in and had seven complete games 3.21 ERA with 41 runs, 37 earned, allowed in 103.2 innings, 38 walks and 99 strikeouts.

Joyner was selected as first-team All Gulf South Conference and Gulf South Conference Pitcher of the Year in 2017. He earned two GSC pitcher of the week awards and named to the Gulf South conference academic honor roll.

The ever-humble Joyner was quick to give credit to his pitching coach and his dad.

Joyner said, “I want to give a lot of thanks to my pitching coach Matt Hancock for helping me with my pitches at UNA, and my dad, who is like my own personal coach. They played a significant role in my life.”

Joyner also said there are a handful of local coaches who made an impact on his career as well, and expressed his gratitude to them, as well.

Joyner, who is known for his character and unwavering Christian faith, said he’s not worried about the pressures that comes with being a professional athlete and said he will continue to be a role model.

“Most people don’t understand the trials and tribulations you have to face every day, even in college. I know what’s right, I know what to believe and will stand for what I believe,” he said.

Joyner has done a lot of great things for his hometown and schools. He has set the platform for the community.

Joyner embodies Colossians 3:23, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.”

“I want the kids to know they can do whatever they put their mind to, I went out on faith and God has directed my path.”

With tears in her eyes, and a proud mother moment, Misty Joyner shared her thoughts on her son’s dreams coming to fruition.

“I’m excited for him, he always wanted this opportunity, he worked for it and this is his dream,” Misty Joyner said.

On Sunday, Joyner flew to his first assignment for the Orioles.