With the 175th overall pick in the 2013 MLB draft, the Toronto Blue Jays selected Matt Boyd, a left-handed pitcher from Oregon State University. Boyd was the first player from a 4-year university selected by the Blue Jays and quite arguably the most polished pitcher selected by the organization in the draft.
The 23-year old southpaw has a very unique delivery style that reminded his first professional pitching coach Vince Horsman of Dodgers Hall-of-Famer Sandy Koufax. Horsman enjoyed working with the Washington State native in Lansing before Boyd earned his promotion to the Dunedin Blue Jays in August.
“I only got to see Matt [Boyd] a few times, but he’s a great left-handed pitcher and a good kid,” stated Horsman, adding, “Boyd reminds me a lot of Sandy Koufax with his delivery. It doesn’t quite come out the same, but he’s learning from the guys and getting acclimated to our system. I really like that I had the chance to work with him right away.”
Horsman had every reason to be impressed with the former Oregon State standout. In Lansing, Boyd pitched 14 innings allowing only one earned run while striking out 12 batters and sporting a 0.64 ERA before moving up a level.
Making the transition to the Florida State League, Boyd had an excellent debut throwing four scoreless innings before unfortunately allowing six earned runs in his next six innings of work. To end the year, Boyd was 0-2 with a 5.40 ERA with 11 strikeouts in 10 innings of work.
Boyd’s early success in professional baseball should come as little surprise as he spent four successful years at Oregon State prior to the draft. He spent his first three seasons as a reliever and then transitioned into a starter in 2013, posting a 22-5 record. He believes his time with the Beavers and playing in the Pac-12 truly prepares players for professional baseball.
“Oregon State was awesome! It was the best four years of my life. I grew as a man and a player there under Coach Casey and his staff,” he said. “The Pac-12 is a very good baseball conference. You face really good competition on a weekly basis. That’s why it comes to no surprise that a lot of guys who play in the conference go on to play professional baseball.”
Boyd had an excellent senior season throwing four complete games and three shutouts. He also led his team to Omaha – one of his favorite moments in his baseball career.
“My senior year was incredible,” he said. “We won a Pac-12 championship. We got to host a super-regional and we got a chance to play in Omaha! I always dreamed of pitching in Omaha as well as the big leagues. I fulfilled one of those dreams this summer. It was very special, everything about it was a dream come true!”
Watch for Matt Boyd as he chases his next dream of pitching in the Major Leagues. Hopefully we’ll see Boyd at the Rogers Centre in the near future.