Joyner finds success in minor leagues
It has been a little more than a month since former W.S. Neal and JDCC pitcher, Tyler Joyner joined the Aberdeen IronBirds.
The team is in the New York -Penn League, a Single A team.
Joyner was drafted in June by the Baltimore Orioles and started in Sarasota for the Gulf Coast League Orioles.
His transition to professional baseball has been a very fast one. He only played in a few games in Sarasota, Fla., before getting a call to Aberdeen, Md.
“The transition has been a great one. It has been a great experience and I’m enjoying it,” Joyner said.
Joyner, an East Brewton native, has appeared in several games with the Ironbirds.
During this time, Joyner has been adjusting to pitching against some of the top hitters in the country.
“It has been an adjustment, but it’s going good. You just have to be on your game with every pitch because at any time one of these guys can get you. You just have to make sure you’re locked in for every pitch,” Joyner said.
Players are constantly traveling from place to place and on a new field almost every night.
“You go from playing in places like Brewton and Jeff Davis, where you get a few hundred people to playing in front of 4,000 people in big cities. It’s been a culture shock and you have to take it day-by-day,” Joyner said.
It is something for which every professional athlete has to deal and adapt.
Joyner has felt this different lifestyle and has so far done a great job adapting to it.
“It’s definitely an adjustment, especially with being a small-town boy, so close to my family, it’s pretty tough. Being 14 hours away is a big adjustment in itself and then going on the road constantly can get tough, as well, but the guys you’re surrounded with are great and they are having to make those same adjustments. You make them together,” Joyner said.
Joyner is playing in several games a week with the Aberdeen club. The schedule is far different than that of any college club. This is the organization that builds players for the next level. That next level for Joyner could very well be on a major league field.
“What I look at is, that a lot of people would give their right arm to be doing what I am. I’m living the dream,” Joyner said.
Joyner, while experiencing the new life in the big leagues, the brushes with famous players has kept him humbled and he feels very fortunate to be classified with those players.
Every kid that dreams of playing in the majors, watches baseball almost religiously on television and has favorite players.
Joyner was no different from those.
Not every kid grows up to live out this dream.
“I have always wanted to be a professional baseball player. It’s a humbling experience,” Joyner said.
“You watch these guys on TV and on ESPN and one day dream of being there and then one day your being classified with them. It’s a humbling experience that makes you grip for the opportunity,” Joyner said.
Joyner has had many people along the way who have helped him to his dream.
Every pro athlete has that one person that has helped mold him/her into the person that he/she has become and helped develop his/her skills in that particular sport.
For Joyner, that person is his father, Jeff.
When asked about who helped him get to this point, Joyner said, “There’s numerous people that have helped me along the way. By far my dad is the biggest. He would work with me in the yard every day on drills and different things. Coach Blevins, my Jeff Davis coach, had a huge role in helping me. My little league coach, Danny Parker, also played a huge role. David Jennings also had a huge role in helping me. I just really would like to thank all of them for their endless support. I wasn’t the most athletic or most-gifted player that any of them ever had but they constantly worked with me and pushed me to do the right things to get me where I am today.”