Virginia native Joyce goes to Nats in ninth

Virginia native Joyce goes to Nats in ninth

The Nationals used the 286th pick (ninth round) of the First-Year Player Draft on Friday to select Jake Joyce, a right-handed pitcher from Virginia Tech.

Joyce is a native Virginian who just completed his senior season in Blacksburg. In 30 relief appearances for the Hokies, he went 7-1 with a 4.16 ERA and three saves. Joyce was a jack-of-all-trades in the Virginia Tech bullpen and acted as a middle reliever, setup man and, if needed, closer.

"He's from Collinsville, Va., and I was close friends with his parents when I lived in Martinsville, Va.," Nationals assistant general manager and vice president of player personnel Roy Clark said, "so I've been tracking him for a long time."

Joyce graduated from high school early to go to Virginia Tech. He had ERAs above 5.00 in each of his first two seasons with the Hokies, but improved his mechanics as a junior and was the most frequently used reliever on the team.

Joyce throws a 95-mph fastball, but considers his slider to be his best pitch.

Tom Schad is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.