In this year’s abbreviated five round version of the MLB Draft, Notre Dame Fighting Irish pitcher Joe Boyle was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the fifth round, 143rd overall. Boyle was the only member of the Irish baseball to be drafted this year.
Congratulations to Joe Boyle, who became Notre Dame's 120th @MLBDraft pick and selected by the @Reds in the 5th round!— Notre Dame Baseball (@NDBaseball) June 12, 2020
We are so proud of you @joeboylejoe1314!#GoIrish #IrishInMLB pic.twitter.com/BRpifXZ5UP
The junior is an intimidating presence on the mound, standing 6’-7” tall and weighing 240 lbs. That helps him throw his fastball in the upper 90s, even reaching over 100mph with relative ease and topping out at 102. His fastball was named the best in the draft by MLB Pipeline. He pitched out of the bullpen in all three of his seasons at Notre Dame, with his best showing in his shortened junior season by far.
Boyle has the talent to be a lights out bullpen arm in the major leagues and can end up being one of the steals in the draft if he can harness that talent. He struck out 57 batters over 36 innings in his college career, including 17 strikeouts this season in just 8.1 innings. Boyle allowed just two extra base hits over three seasons and not a single home run.
The problem for Boyle has always been command and unfortunately that can derail a pitcher as quickly as just about anything. He allowed 48 walks over his three years and threw 10 wild pitches and that is certainly the reason he waited until the 5th round to hear his name called. If he had better command in college he is easily a 2nd round talent (being almost certainly a reliever only pretty much disqualifies him from 1st round consideration). If Boyle can improve his command in the pros he has all the makings of an All-Star closer.
It seems as if the Minor League Baseball season will be cancelled this year, so we may not see Boyle in action again until next summer. We of course wish him the best in pro baseball and will continue following his career as it develops. Here’s a highlight video from Notre Dame to familiarize yourself with Boyle’s talent.