H/W: 6-3, 225
Acquired: Signed as minor-league free agent (1/21/17)
Current Salary: Minor league contract
Team Control: through 2017 (MiLB) / 1 season MLB
The Outfield Fly Ruling
We all know that the 3 WARs (bWAR, fWAR, WARP) are calculated differently, but it’s rare you see it manifest in extremely different player totals. Blaine Boyer is a hard pitcher for humans to figure out, so it’s no surprise to see math struggle as well. Some of those near-zero seasons above can mislead you – he didn’t have seasons of little to no consequence. He had seasons of little to no consensus. That is naturally going to come with the territory when the territory is owned by a pitcher with little use for strikeouts, gets groundballs at a high but not extreme rate, and relies almost exclusively on weak contact to get by. Boyer will live on the edge to an extent for the rest of his career. That profile will scare teams away from commitment, but every team will have interest just to see if his magic is real. (-B. Blackwell, ’16-’17 offseason)
The OFR Scouting Report
Pitch Arsenal (speed are 3 year averages):
- Sinker – 92.7 mph / extreme groundball pitch
- 12-6 Slider – 86.0 mph
- Fourseam Fastball – 92.4 mph / groundball pitch
- 12-6 Curveball – 75.4 mph
- Changeup – 87.0 mph / very rare
Stamina – 20
Walk Avoidance – 55 ↑
He’s had some stretches where his control really evaded him, but he’s had more spans where he was well above average. That might point to some mechanical inconsistency, but since he works it out more often than not, we’ll go above-average here. The grade has some inherent regression factored in, and in that respect, Boyer will turn 36 this summer. On the other hand, he hasn’t topped 3.0 BB/9 since 2010, so maybe I’m underselling him here.
Strikeouts – 30
If anyone ever bought into Crash Davis’ “strikeouts are fascist” routine, it was Blaine Boyer. And boy, did he buy in. This seems like a good place to suggest this fascinating article from Fangraphs’ Travis Sawchik on Boyer.
Groundball Rate – 60
What did you expect from a sinker/slider specialist who doesn’t strike anyone out? If a guy allows a ton of contact and most of it isn’t on the ground, an MLB team would not pay this person money to pitch.
20-80 scale, where 20 will prevent you from reaching the bigs, 30 is terrible, 40 is below average, 50 is MLB average, 60 is plus, 70 is plus-plus, and 80 is HOF-level. The OFR Scouting Report is based mostly on statistical forecasting models such as ZiPs, PECOTA, etc. Arrows indicate projected room for growth or decline, with each representing a 5 point movement on the 20-80 scale.
Walk Off Walk