Story Poster
Notre Dame Baseball

West Bend to South Bend for Notre Dame signee Joey Spence

July 21, 2021

Joey Spence is headed to Notre Dame. 

The West Bend (Wis.) native was drafted last week by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 18th round of the 2021 MLB Draft. It was a moment he had been waiting for all his life and he was able to share it with his family and girlfriend. 

"It was special," Spence told ISD. "It wasn't exactly how I planned, but it was still a special moment. I'm pretty proud of it." 

Spence chose not to enroll in Notre Dame's summer bridge program to focus on preparing for the draft and participating in several workouts with MLB scouts. 

"It was interesting," explained Spence. "It's definitely a lot different than college recruiting because there are so many unknowns. You don't talk to the scouts after every game, so my advisor would text me, 'Hey, this guy liked you.' 

"You go to all these events and you don't know what they think. You don't know if they liked you and they don't tell you until about a week before the draft." 

The workouts can be high pressure as it’s a different structure than most professional sports. In some cases, prospects are doing traditional testing or workouts while other times they are playing games. 

Spence didn't feel too much pressure after getting into the flow as he was surrounded by players he had played with or against previously. 

"Early on, I felt some pressure," said Spence. "As I started going to more workouts, I was playing with guys that I've been with for the past couple of years. It's kind of like you're just going there with your buddies having some fun and trying to put on a show." 

Throughout the process, Spence also learned about himself and it gave him a confidence boost as he saw an area of strength that will carry him over his career. 

"I learned I'm much more mentally advanced than the average high school prospect,” stated Spence. “I think that's part of why I rose up draft boards for a lot of teams. I approached the game, workouts and offseason training in a professional way." 

As for the decision, the chance to attend Notre Dame was something Spence couldn't pass on at the end of the day. 

"Going into the draft, I thought I was going to get picked in the first two days and sign," Spence said. "It wasn't how it worked out. I'm blessed and fortunate to have that connection with the coaches at Notre Dame. It was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down." 

Spence was extremely grateful for the Notre Dame coaching staff as they made it clear they supported either decision. It also reaffirmed the reasons he trusted the staff with his commitment. 

It's also safe to say the staff was excited to have the Midwest's top bat headed to South Bend. 

"There were super supportive and they made sure I knew they were behind me no matter what I decided," stated Spence. "They were pretty hyped up and I was pretty hyped up. I'm just excited to get to work." 

Heading to college is always exciting, but the chance to play for one of the hottest baseball programs in the country adds another dimension for Spence as he watched the Super Regional run very closely.

"It was fun to watch, especially because they weren't even considered in the Top 25 or 50 rankings," explained Spence. "They just skyrocketed up with the new coaching staff. 

"Everything (Link) Jarrett, (Rich) Wallace and (Chuck) Ristano have done is really cool to watch. I can't wait to be part of it." 

Spence is also open to other positions outside of catcher and is willing to play anywhere if it gets him on the field, including the DH spot. 

"I'm open to anything," Spence stated. "All I want is my bat to be in the lineup. I know I'm going to earn my spot like everyone else. I'm going to work my tail off, but I'm confident I'll see a lot of playing time my first year." 

Spence will arrive on campus in August and he's excited to have the feeling he had when he committed to the Irish. 

"It's just that vibe you get around campus," said Spence. "When you talk to people that have been there, they can't really explain and you can't really explain it. It's just a different culture that you can feel." 

Discussion from...

West Bend to South Bend for Notre Dame signee Joey Spence

2,883 Views | 0 Replies | Last: 2 mo ago by mattfreeman
There are not any replies to this post yet.
Page 1 of 1
subscribe Verify your student status
See Subscription Benefits
Trial only available to users who have never subscribed or participated in a previous trial.