Kyle Boddy will get his chance with newly drafted Reds pitchers

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 17: Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 17: Cincinnati Reds (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)

Kyle Boddy will get a chance to earn his stripes with the Reds incoming draft class.

Kyle Boddy is the Cincinnati Reds minor league director of pitching initiatives and pitching coordinator. While that sounds like a mouthful, essentially it means that Boddy is in charge of developing Cincinnati’s minor league pitchers. He’ll have a chance to prove himself following a draft that netted the Reds three pitchers.

The Reds have made an effort in recent years to beef-up the team’s pitching development. Long referred to as “Great American ‘Small’ Park”, Cincinnati’s stadium offers a short porch in right field, which is ideal for left-handed hitters to launch homers over the wall and into the home team’s bullpen.

We’ve seen a shift in the Reds philosophy recently, and rather than catering to the ballpark, Cincinnati has invested in pitchers that can out-pitch hitters within the hitter-friendly confines of GABP. The Reds sent two pitchers to the All-Star Game last season in Luis Castillo and Sonny Gray.

Cincinnati’s top-2 prospects in their farm system, according to MLB Pipeline, are both hurlers. Nick Lodolo, last year’s No. 7 overall pick is ranked No. 1 and among the top left-handed pitchers in the minors. Hunter Greene, taken with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 MLB Draft, is recovering from Tommy John surgery, but is expected to be an elite-level arm when he reaches the big leagues.

The Reds added three more arms to their farm system on Thursday night. After taking prep outfielder Austin Hendrick with the No. 12 pick on Wednesday night, Cincinnati selected Texas A&M pitcher Christian Roa with pick No. 48, Texas Tech right-hander Bryce Bonnin in Round 4 and the hard-throwing Kentucky-native Joe Boyle at No. 143.

Roa is arguably the most polished pitcher of the three selections, with both Bonnin and Boyle relying more on power. Roa possesses a four-pitch arsenal and looks the part of a potential starter if he can consistently pound the strike zone as he did in college.

Bonnin, who originally played for Arkansas, landed with the Texas Tech Red Raiders following a shoulder injury during his freshman year with the Razorbacks. Bonnin has a crossfire action that leads some scouts to believe he’s destined for the bullpen. His plus-fastball will play in the big leagues.

Speaking of plus-fastball, Boyle owns a plus, plus, plus-fastball. Perhaps the hardest thrower in the 2020 MLB Draft, Joe Boyle landed with the Reds in Round 5. The 6-foot-7 right-hander offers tremendous upside if he can command his fastball. Boyle has a plus-slider as well, he walked 13 batters a little over eight innings this past season.

All of these pitchers offer something different, and it will be up to Kyle Boddy and the Reds minor-league coaching staff to get the most out of them. Boddy, founded Driveline Baseball, which incorporates a sabremetrics approach into conditioning and developing pitchers. Boddy was hired by Cincinnati last October.

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Along with Caleb Cotham, the assistant pitching coach and director of pitching for the Cincinnati Reds, Kyle Boddy will be key to unlocking the potential behind each one of these young pitchers. The Reds have invested heavily in pitcher development over the past few seasons, and they’re hopeful it’ll pay off in the long run.