Woodside grad Terrell Joyce selected by Houston Astros in MLB draft

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For a guy from Newport News with no family ties to Houston, it might be unreasonable to think anything related to a professional sports franchise in the Texas city would do much for him.

Yet, when Woodside High graduate Terrell Joyce got a phone call from the Houston Astros early Tuesday evening telling him they were going to pick him in the 12th round, he was obviously ecstatic. But his father, Jay, was beside himself.

"He's just a huge fan of all Houston teams," said Terrell, who played last summer in the Coastal Plain League for the Peninsula Pilots, finishing with a .283 batting average and team-highs in doubles (13), home runs (seven), RBI (31), total bases (79) and slugging percentage (.545). "He was a big Oilers fan, and he really likes the Astros, too. I guess he has another reason to like the Astros now."

Joyce, a 6-foot-3, 230-pound outfielder who played at Florida State College the past two seasons, was taken with the 369th overall pick. While he was the highlight from the Peninsula area on the second day of the three-day Major League Baseball first-year player draft, three players from the University of Virginia also were chosen.

The final 25 rounds of the 40-round draft are Wednesday.

U.Va. right-handed pitcher Branden Kline was taken in the second round (65th overall) by the Baltimore Orioles, shortstop Chris Taylor was selected in the fifth round (161st overall) by the Seattle Mariners and third baseman Stephen Bruno was picked in the seventh round (224th overall) by the Chicago Cubs.

Kline and Taylor just finished their junior seasons at U.Va. (39-19-1), which was eliminated Sunday from the NCAA baseball tournament.

"I was sitting at my locker in our clubhouse (at U.Va.) watching (the draft) on MLB.com," said Kline, a native of Frederick, Md., who went 7-3 with a 3.56 earned run average this season — one season after logging a school record-tying 18 saves. "I kind of heard (my name), but I wasn't too sure. Then, they said it again, and my heart just kind of stopped."

Taylor, a graduate of Cox High in Virginia Beach, hit .284 this season with a team-best 57 runs scored. Bruno, a 21-year-old from Plainfield, N.J., who just completed his redshirt sophomore season, led the team in batting average (.370), hits (88), RBI (54), doubles (23), slugging percentage (.559) and total bases (133).

In Joyce's second year at Florida State College, a junior college in Jacksonville, Fla., he hit .436 with 11 home runs, 55 RBI and a .503 on-base percentage. He signed a letter of intent in April to attend Virginia Tech in the fall.

"Virginia Tech is an awesome school," Joyce said. "Going there would give me the ability to progress in my game, or if I go ahead and go pro, then I'll start my career as a Houston Astro. I have some things to consider."

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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