Roster Moves: Matt Boyd promoted to Buffalo
Matt Boyd has finally gotten his promotion, one that many Blue Jay fans familiar with the junior circuit have patiently waited weeks for. The time is now for the Washington native to dominate the International League in the same way that he dominated the Eastern League from the opening pitch of 2015.
Our Editor Kyle Franzoni had a chance to interview the promising 24-year-old (read here).
The 6’3″ left handed pitcher made 12 starts for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats and hasn’t allowed more than 3 runs this year, he’s allowed this to happen just once. He’s allowed 2 runs twice, and he has held opponents to a single run three times before his promotion.
Bisons manager Gary Allenson (double check name) wasted no time putting his new shiny pitcher to the test, senting him to the mound Sunday afternoon.
How did the product of Oregon State fare?
He dominated, despite taking the loss, pitching 7.0IP and allowing one run on 6 hits (MiLB recap). He pitched well enough for the win had the Bison hitters been able to muster any offense off of former Blue Jays top prospect Kyle Drabek.
Since being drafted by Toronto in the 6th round of the 2013 Amuater Draft, Boyd has displayed above average command of the strike zone. This year he has posted a 2.20 BB/9 and 8.55 K/9 with a FIP of 2.72.
On Sunday, Boyd conitued his assualt on the strike zone with an 8 strike out, zero walk performance. He pounded the strike zone with 68 of his 97 pitches being called for strikes.
My concern with getting too excited about Matt Boyd is that he is a flyball pitcher (0.58 GO/AO) which can lead to long outs or slow trots when he finally makes it Toronto. His high pop up totals comes from working effectively up in the zone with a mid-90’s fastball. Boyd has allowed homeruns in his last five starts, with his lone run allowed Sunday coming via the long ball.
So where does Matt Boyd rank among minor league pitcher? Maybe this excerpt from Fangraphs Carson Cistulli’s ‘The Fringe Five’
"the left-hander recorded an 8:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio against 26 batters over 7.0 innings (box). In part, it’s to note that, among all Double-A pitchers, only the Dodgers’ Julio Urias (ranked fourth among all prospects by Kiley McDaniel this offseason) and the Yankees’ Luis Severino (26th) have posted a greater strikeout- and walk-rate differential than Boyd. Finally, it’s to confirm that Boyd is exhibiting greater arm speed than ever before — and is exhibiting it throughout his starts."
Those are some pretty impressive arms to be mentioned with when we consider that Boyd is not often considered a high ceiling prospect and is almost never grouped in with Aaron Sanchez, Daniel Norris, Miguel Castro, and now Jeff Hoffman.
There can be no doubt that Boyd’s 2015 performance thus far has warranted some re-evaluation of his stock value. Is he Dare I say that if Matt is able to replicate his first Triple-A start in future starts wiith the Bisons he will be considered for a spot on the Blue Jays staff as early as this summer.
Featured photo (Mandatory Credit: Picture from Matt Boyd’s twitter page )