Joe Boyle may be the most underrated prospect in the Cincinnati Reds farm system. Yes, control and command are certainly areas of his game that must improve, but few prospects in the game have the type of raw talent that we've seen from the former fifth-round draft pick.
The Reds selected Boyle in the 2020 MLB Draft, and without a 2020 minor league season, the right-hander didn't have much of a chance to display his skills. But he's definitely turning heads in 2022.
Boyle went six innings last night for the Dayton Dragons and didn't allow a hit. This is the fourth time in seven starts that an opposing team failed to get a hit off Boyle. The 22-year-old did issue three free passes, but also punched out eight batters.
Joe Boyle is the Reds most underrated prospect.
According to MLB Pipeline, Joe Boyle ranks 27th among all Cincinnati Reds prospects. FanGraphs ranks Boyle even lower, placing the flamethrower at No. 42 overall. And you can forget Keith Law at The Athletic (subscription required). Boyle doesn't make the cut there either.
So far this season, Boyle has faced 128 batters and only six have gotten a hit. That means that less than 5% of the batters that Boyle has faced this season have reached base via a base hit. Furthermore, only one has gone for extra bases.
To be fair, Boyle didn't give much of an indication that he'd enjoy this type of success in 2022. The right-hander had a ridiculous strikeout-rate of 49.1% at Low-A Daytona last season, but Boyle also saw his walk-rate reach a ridiculous 22.2%.
What Boyle is doing will warrant a promotion to Double-A rather quickly. We've already seen players like Andrew Abbott receive a bump from High-A to Double-A this season, and given Boyle's numbers, he won't be far behind.
There's a chance the right-hander could remain a starter once he makes it to The Show, but unless he's able to improve on that command and control, Joe Boyle has the look of a late-inning reliever. Regardless of his major league future, it's time for the fanbase to take notice. Boyle is the real deal.