Big night in Dayton for Joe Boyle as he struck out 10 of the 12 batters he faced in 4.0 hitless innings during a Dragons win that also saw Elly De La Cruz pick up three hits, TJ Hopkins kept on crushing the ball for Chattanooga, and Daytona picked up a shutout win behind 13 strikeouts from Javi Rivera and Tanner Cooper who each tossed 4.0 shutout innings.

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The Louisville Bats lost 7-2. Box Score

The Chattanooga Lookouts lost 5-3. Box Score

The Dayton Dragons won 3-2. Box Score

The Daytona Tortugas won 3-0. Box Score

4/20 Game Preview

Team Record Time (ET) Probable Box Score Listen Watch
Louisville 3-10 11:05am Ashcraft Here Here Here
Chattanooga 5-5 12:05pm Salazar Here Here Here
Dayton 7-3 7:05pm Proctor Here Here Here
Daytona 4-6 7:05pm Franco Here Here N/A

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16 Responses

  1. MK

    Was sitting behind home plate in Dayton tonight and Joe Boyle was impressive to say the least. He was sitting 96 mph all night and 97 a few times, though don’t think he threw 97 for a strike. I was as or more impressed with his breaking ball. 10 of first 11 outs were K’s. Second inning on I’d say half the first pitches were the breaking ball.

    On offense de la Cruz was very impressive on his triple. His speed rounding the bases reminded me of one I saw Prime Time run in Cincinnati. The young man can fly.

  2. Stock

    Interesting two names here MK. De La Cruz has stuff you don’t see often. Problem is he strikes out a lot. Scouts say his ceiling is as high as there is but his floor is never making it to the majors.

    As a result he is in everyone’s top 100 but not a single top 25. This is fair.

    Now onto Boyle. Last year he struck out more than 50% of the batters he faced. His Slider is so good that he is still learning where to pitch it. Last year in Daytona his BB% improved every game (and his K% improved every game also). Slow start the first game but tonight was pretty good. In fact in the first 3 innings he threw 72% of his pitches across the plate. He is figuring out how to throw pitches for strikes. One player fouled off 5 or 6 pitches in a row before he K’d. The problem he had tonight is since hitters are incapable of putting his slider into play they end of seeing a lot of pitches.

    Like De La Cruz his slider/fastball combo is good enough to make the hall of fame. But like De La Cruz his floor is a bust. Difference is it is much more likely for a pitcher to add control than it is for a hitter to reduce his K’s. Randy Johnson struggled throwing his slider for strikes when he was in A ball. Things turned out pretty good for him.

    I placed Boyle in my top 10 for a reason last winter. I feel he will be in every top 50 next winter and he was wrongly rated too low by everyone last winter (maybe even me). Scary to say but as I said last winter his ceiling is higher than that of Hunter Greene in my mind.

    As of now Boyle is striking out 61% of the batters he has faced this year and only 21% of the batters are able to put the ball into play. Boyle’s K/BIP ratio is an unheard of 2.83 this year. I have never seen a ratio greater than 1 before. Jacob DeGrom had a ratio of 0.88 last year in his dominating season.

    Call me crazy but he is one of the Reds best prospects and without a doubt worthy of being in the Reds top 15 prospects.

    What is most encouraging to me is MK’s comment that Boyle was starting each batter with his slider. This tells me he is learning to locate this pitch. Top 50 hear we come!!!!

    • icehole3

      First time seeing Boyle. He is so imposing. Looks like a RH version of Kershaw IMO. Amazed at his ability to land that slider curve. If he develops a changeup watch out. He’s unhittible in A ball.

    • AMDG

      The thing with Boyle is going to be if he can reduce those free passes.

      He strikes out a ton of guys, but in college he walked 12 per 9 IP
      Last year he walked 6.4 per 9 IP
      And this year he has give up 5.6 walker per 9 IP

      If that trend continues, he’s a possible future closer.

      • Stock

        The trends I see are:
        1. He is unhittable (0 hits in 8 IP this year)
        2. He is learning how to throw possibly the best slider in the history of baseball for strikes.
        3. He has developed confidence that he can throw his slider for strikes (MK’s comment about him throwing first pitch sliders consistently throughout the game.
        4. In the first three innings 71% of his pitches were strikes last night. That does not sound like a pitcher with control problems. He did struggle in the 4th inning (47% K’s) which may be a sign of fatigue.

        As I said last winter, he has the highest ceiling of any pitcher in the organization which is quite a feat in an organization that has a pitcher who set a record for most pitches in a game exceeding 100 MPH last week.

        If I were to redo my top 10 prospects today, Boyle would be in my top 5 and my #2 pitcher (behind Greene). I would also not be at all surprised if that come December, Boyle and De La Cruz are both top 10 prospects in all of baseball.

    • Stock

      The problem with having a slider that moves so much is it takes time to figure out the correct release point and location you need to aim to have it end up in the strike zone.

      Last year is a great indication of him learning this. Here is his performance game by game in Daytona last year:

      8/25/21: 30.8% BB%/38.5% K%
      8/31/21: 27.8% BB%/44.4% K%
      9/7/21: 22.2% BB%/55.6 K%
      9/14/21: 11.8% BB%/58.8 K%

      He walked fewer every game and struck out more every game. Just as important he gave up only 4.1 hits/9 IP in Daytona.

      Now look forward to 2022:
      4/12/22: 26.7% BB%/46.7 K%
      4/19/22: 7.7% BB%/76.9 K%

      The numbers he put up last night show pure dominance. But there are some things that are just as important (if not more important) than the numbers he put up last night. It is important for a pitcher with control problems to get ahead in the count. Get behind and batters wait for a fastball and have a huge advantage. As a general rule pitchers with control problems lead off with the fastball. But per MK Boyle was leading off with the slider. This tells me he is now getting comfortable with his ability to locate the slider in the strike zone. I missed the 4th inning but in the first 3 innings there were few pitches swung at outside the zone. Batters know they can’t hit his slider so it seemed they took a lot of them for strikes. Also it is possible that they thought they would be balls but there was so much break they ended up in the strike zone.

      • icehole3

        I agree with your earlier point. Right now I like Boyle more than Williamson, Ashcroft and Conner Phillips. I like Lodolo and Boyle equally.

      • AllTheHype

        Stock, you’re getting a little ahead of yourself. Boyle still profiles as a reliever until he
        1) learns to consistently command the zone
        2) keeps his pitch count down
        3) proves he can maintain velo in the 6th and 7th innings
        4) proves he has the pitch mix to get outs the third time thru a quality lineup.

        He has not proven any of those things yet. And for that reason, other prospect lists have him in the appropriate slot. He has upside for sure, but also a ton of risk that he will never reach that upside.

      • Stock

        All the hype I understand what you are saying but your expectations need to be adjusted based upon the situation.

        Last night Boyle lasted only 4 innings. If not for a pitch count he would have made 5 innings but not more than that.

        Was his limited time on the mound due to lack of control? He threw 64% of his pitches for strikes last night. Better than Miley, Castillo, Gutierrez, Gray and Mahle season totals last year. This is not the answer.

        Was it because hitters were pounding him and extending innings. He faced one over the minimum so this is not the problem.

        Was it because even though he was throwing strikes he was walking too many batters? Nope. 1 BB in 4 innings is good regardless.

        Was it because he was too good? Yep. Since hitters could not put the ball in play he had no short AB. The five Reds above averaged 3.9 pitches per AB last year. Boyle averaged 5.8 pitches per AB last night. Nearly 50% more per AB and all because the hitters could not put the ball into play. This is a good problem to have.

        I would rather have a pitcher last 5 innings and have 3 balls in play per game and 1 or 2 BB than Castillo’s best year thus far. Boyle was dominate last night and should not be faulted for going only 4 innings. It is not a fault when hitters go the entire night and put only 2 balls in play.

      • AllTheHype

        He was obviously great that last start, and agree, missing bats in the zone does inflate pitch count to no fault of the pitcher. He needs a full season of showing he can consistently command the zone though, not just a sporadic start here and there.

  3. Norwood Nate

    Was curious as to how long it’s been since Louisville has been bad. According to wikipedia the last winning record was in 2011. Man, that’s tough.

  4. Bdh

    So in 8 innings this year Boyle hasn’t given up a hit and has struck out 17 batters? That’s ridiculous no matter what level you’re playing at.

  5. MK

    Boyle had the benefit of a very consistent umpiring strike zone last night as well. There have been several female umpires through Dayton over the year, but the young lady last night was the best at balls and strikes. See might be in top 5 regardless of gender.

    • Stock

      I agree MK. I watched the pitch by pitch on the internet and she missed 2 calls all night and both of those were more than 50 outside the zone so were borderline calls.