December 17, 2012
Scouting the Draft
College Left-Handed Pitchers
Today’s installment of Scouting the Draft looks at five collegiate left-handers with the chance to come off the board in the early rounds next June. As a reminder, the goal of this series is not to cover every name worth knowing for next June; we have plenty of time to bring you full reports on the top draft-eligible players for 2013 over the next seven months. This is meant to serve as an introduction to the draft class for those who have not yet begun to follow the action and to pool in one place a rundown of some of the top performances in the months leading up to the draft before we start parsing the class in more detail.
Matt Boyd | LHP | Oregon St. University 2/2/1991
The Basics: 6-foot-3, 215-pounds; left/left profile; draft day age 22y 4m
Brings to the table: A durable build, easy arm, and four-pitch mix from the left side. Boyd may not currently have a plus pitch in his arsenal but will show average-to-above-average grades on his fastball, change-up, and two distinct breakers. His change-up may have the most promise of his three secondaries, coming with some late tumble. Boyd’s slider and curve each show good shape and average depth when snapped-off properly, but when he isn’t hitting his release, the former tends to saucer on one plane while the latter lacks enough bite to avoid more advanced bats. His fastball is fringe-average for a lefty, sitting in the 88-92 mph range (though he’ll kick it up two-to-four mph when throwing shorter stints out of the pen).
Made a name for himself when: He strung together a solid summer with Orleans on the Cape, highlighted by a strong All-Star Game performance and capped by a playoff win in which he tossed seven strong frames while allowing just one run on three hits, striking out 11, and walking three. Boyd logged just three starts during his 27 innings but showed enough comfort with his arsenal and worked well enough in those starts to give evaluators hope he can stick in a rotation at the pro ranks.
Figures to get attention: During Pac 12 play and in particular during tough road series against Stanford, Oregon, UCLA, and defending champs Arizona. The Beavers will also square-off against Kris Bryant and the Toreros in San Diego in late March. A quality spring could land Boyd in the top five rounds with a back-of-the-rotation profile. His fallback option is a shift back to the pen where he could fit in as a seventh- or eighth-inning arm.