At the start of 2015, Blue Jays lefty Matt Boyd was a little known prospect with mixed reviews. Those who followed the Toronto Blue Jays minor league system knew his name and knew that he had an impressive 2014 with the Dunedin Blue Jays. However, they also know that he struggled mightily when promoted to the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats.
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Boyd had a lot to prove coming into this season and he didn’t disappoint. Boyd dominated in 12 Double-A starts. He struck out 8.55 batters per 9IP. He walked only 1.38 batters per 9IP, and held opponents to a solid .199 BABIP. He finished his Fisher Cats season after his June 9th start, where he threw 7 strong innings, allowing one run on 2 hits, while striking 4.
My problem with Boyd was the number of outs he recorded via the fly ball. With the Fisher Cats, Boyd was closer to 50/50 with a 0.38 GO/AO. In last 4 Double-AA starts he allowed 3 homeruns….in his previous 8 Double-AA he didn’t allow one. Flyball pitchers don’t do well in Toronto’s homerun haven.
He made his first Triple-A start with the Buffalo Bisons on June 14th allowing two runs on six hits and a home run over 7 innings. He made one more start with the Herd on June 19th before getting called up to Toronto. In that start he allowed 2 runs on six hits and allowed his 5th home run in his past 6 starts, after not allowing any in his previous 8.
On June 27th, the 24-year-old product of Oregon State saw his dreams come true, making his major league debut against the Texas Rangers. Matt took the loss despite only allowing 4 runs over 6.2 IP. He throw 69 of his 103 pitches for strikes, struck out 7, walked none, and actually finished the game with a decent 1.17 GO/AO; however, all three runs came via solo jacks.
His second start came against the Boston Red Sox on July 2nd. He didn’t register an out and allowed 7 runs on 6 hits, 2 home runs and a walk. He was sent down shortly after.
After that pair of starts in Toronto, Boyd would return to Buffalo for 4 more starts before being included in the David Price deal. In those starts, Boyd allowed 3 more long balls. It is worth noting that he didn’t allow any in his last 2 starts and finished his Blue Jays career throwing 7 shutout innings against Pawtucket.
He has made 9 starts since being traded to Detroit, sporting a 1-3 record, a 6.21 ERA, 9 home runs, 29 runs, 14 walks and 30 K over 42 innings.
In Baseball America’s Sept 16th edition, Boyd was recognized for his stellar 2015 season in the minors being named as a First Team All-Star.
Matt Boyd’s 2015 MiLB stats:
I expect Matt Boyd to challenge for a spot on the 2016 Tigers rotation, but he will most likely start the season with the Tigers Triple-A in Toledo. Boyd has the makings of a solid back of the rotation starter who will benefit from the dimensions of Comerica Park.
Congratulation on a terrific 2015 MiLB season and we look forward to your future accomplishments.