When Joe Boyle was selected in the 5th and final round of the shortened 2020 Major League Baseball draft he and the Cincinnati Reds likely knew that he wasn’t going to take the mound. A few weeks later it was confirmed as the 2020 minor league season was cancelled.
In April of this past year during minor league spring training the reports coming out of Arizona were promising, but late in the month he was injured right before teams broke camp to head out to their affiliates. After missing the first three months of the season, the big right-handed pitcher made his pro debut on what was basically a rehab assignment with the complex level Reds. He would make four starts, working his way from one inning up to three innings over a span of two weeks, not allowing any runs, walking just one batter, and striking out 13 of the 24 hitters he faced.
The Reds then sent Joe Boyle to join the Low-A Daytona Tortugas for the final three weeks of the season. In his debut in full-season ball he didn’t allow a hit, but did give up two earned runs as he walked four batters and hit another one while striking out five against St. Lucie. The next time out he faced off against Fort Myers at home and tossed 4.0 shutout innings but struggled to be consistent with the zone as he walked five and struck out eight to wrap up August.
On September 7th he took the mound in Jupiter and struggled as he lasted just 1.2 innings and allowed three earned on two hits, two walks, and a homer while striking out five of the nine hitters he faced. A week later he took the mound for the final time of the season and put together his best start. Facing Palm Beach, Boyle struck out 10 Cardinals hitters, walked just two and allowed two hits in 4.0 shutout innings.
For all 2021 Season Reviews and Scouting Reports – click here (these will come out during the week throughout the offseason).
Joe Boyle Scouting Report
Position: Right-handed pitcher | B/T: R/R
Height: 6′ 7″ | Weight: 240 lbs | Drafted: 5th Round (2020 Draft)
Born: August 14, 1999
Fastball | A plus offering that works in the mid-to-upper 90’s and has above-average spin rates.
Curveball | Working in the upper 70’s to low 80’s, it’s an above-average offering with 12-6 breaking action.
Slider | A plus offering that works in the mid 80’s with late bite.
Two plus pitches and a third above-average pitch gives Joe Boyle a very high upside. His fastball has been clocked as high as 102 MPH when he was at Notre Dame. As a professional he topped out at 98 MPH in games during the 2021 season. With two breaking balls that are both quality offerings, there’s a few different looks he can show hitters. The lack of a change up could result in a move back to the bullpen in the long run.
While the stuff for Joe Boyle is elite, the control has been anything but. While at Notre Dame he walked 48 batters in 36.0 innings pitched. While he limited the walks at the complexes out in Arizona between spring training and his rehab time in August, once he got to full season Daytona there were some real hiccups when it came to throwing strikes as he walked 13 batters in 12.2 innings.
There’s a high ceiling and a low floor for a guy like Boyle. He’s got elite stuff but he also walks guys at rates that simply are not going to work without real improvement. He needs to cut his walk rate in half to get to a range of walks that is just considered poor. On one hand – the reports out of Arizona can give you some hope that it’s possible that he could do that. On the other hand is the time at Notre Dame and the time in Daytona where he walked more than a batter per inning.
Interesting Stat on Joe Boyle
Small sample size, but left-handed hitters went 2-28 against Boyle in 2021.
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