Joe Boyle didn’t get to pitch the year he was drafted because the season was cancelled. In 2021 he only threw 19.2 innings after missing much of the season with an injury. Things were on his side in 2022 as he put together a full season on the mound.
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Cincinnati sent Joe Boyle to join the High-A Dayton Dragons to begin the year. Things probably couldn’t have gone much better if you were writing fiction. Boyle didn’t allow a hit in his first two starts, striking out 17 batters with five walks in 8.0 innings. In his third and final start of April he would finally allow a hit – just one – in 5.0 innings, but also had five walks in the game.
Following another shutout, 4.0 inning performance to start May, Boyle allowed a run for the first time on the year in a 4.2 hitless inning performance on May 10th thanks to six walks. Over his next seven starts he allowed three earned runs, walked 18, and struck out 55 in 33.2 innings for Dayton.
There were fireworks on July 4th, but Joe Boyle didn’t like them. In one of the weirder stat lines you will ever see, he was charged with seven earned runs on just one hit in 2.1 innings. That will happen when you walk six batters and hit another one.
Over the next four starts Boyle walked 16 batters in 17.0 innings while striking out 31. That would end his time with Dayton and on August 11th he was promoted to Double-A Chattanooga. In his first two starts he allowed a run in each game, walking and striking out nine batters in his 8.2 combined innings. Biloxi touched him up for two home runs and six earned runs on the 26th. He’d rebound a bit in his final three starts, giving up six earned in 13.1 innings with 19 strikeouts – but also walking 12 batters.
For all 2022 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 | Acquired: 5th Round, 2020 Draft
Born: August 14, 1999
Fastball | A plus offering that works 95-97 MPH and touches the upper 90’s.
Curveball | A plus offering with 12-6 breaking action that works in the low 80’s.
Slider | An above-average offering that works in the mid-to-upper 80’s.
When it comes to pure stuff, no one doubts that Joe Boyle has some of the best stuff around. He’s got two plus pitches, a third one that flashes plus but is more often an above-average one.
But for as good as the pure stuff for Joe Boyle is, there’s how poor his control is. In his 100.2 innings this past season he walked 84 batters, and that’s probably the best control he’s ever shown since leaving high school in 2017. There is almost no precedent for that kind of walk rate working at the highest level of professional baseball. And there’s almost no precedent for a walk rate that high in the minors improving enough to lead to a productive big league career.
With that said, Boyle has been starting as a professional and that is unlikely to remain his job long term. A move to the bullpen where he could focus more on one or two inning stints could help mitigate some of the control problems.
When Joe Boyle throws strikes, he’s been nearly unhittable. But far too often he just can’t find any consistency with that part of the game and more advanced hitters are able to lay off of those pitches. If he can find a way to throw more strikes he’s got a chance to be a back-end of the bullpen kind of reliever. But if he can’t improve in that area then he is going to struggle to find a role in the big leagues.
Interesting Stat on Joe Boyle
Joe Boyle faced batters younger than him 199 times in 2022. They slugged .111 against him.