BLAINE BOYER
RIGHT HANDED PITCHER
Born: July 11, 1981
Height: 6′ 3″
Weight: 245
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Drafted: 3rd Round, 100th Overall, 2000
How Acquired: Minor League Contract
High School: Walton HS (Marietta, GA)
Agent: Aegis Sports Management

WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES

Boyer is an extreme groundball pitcher who also throws very hard.  His fastball averages 93-94 and reaches 96-97.  He also throws a slider, curve and change, but he sticks with the fastball most of the time and his other pitches aren’t that effective.  Probably as a result, he’s never missed a lot of bats.  His groundball rate, however, has often reached the 60-65% range.  Like some groundball pitchers, he’s suffered from somewhat high batting averages on balls in play (.309 lifetime) and fielding independent pitching ratings that are much lower than his ERA (4.00 to 4.81 lifetime).  He signed a minor league deal with the Pirates after the Mets removed him from their roster. 

2000-02: Did reasonably well as starter for two years in rookie ball, with good K rates, but moved to bullpen in 2002.  Had strong year, with good K rates but high walk rate.

2003-04: Returned to low A despite good 2002 season and moved back to rotation.  Had good ERA but allowed a lot of baserunners.  In 2004 in high A, pitched much more effectively but K rate dropped a lot.  Rated as high as 10th among Braves’ prospect by Baseball America.

2005-07: Struggled as starter in AA, but moved up to major league bullpen and pitched very well in pennant race.  Unfortunately, had shoulder surgery that, together with other problems, cost him nearly all of 2006 and part of 2007.  Pitched mainly in AAA in 2007.

2008: Used heavily out of bullpen and posted bad ERA but fair peripherals.  Groundball rate was uncharacteristically low at 46%, so something probably wasn’t quite right.  Actually pitched very well for about the first half of the season, then fell apart in the second half, possibly from the heavy use.

2009: Pitched for three different teams.  Braves traded him to St. Louis early in season, then Cards waived him in June and Arizona claimed him.  Overall, pitched about the same as 2008, but ERA was decent.

2010: Was less effective with Arizona, allowing more baserunners and walking the same number he struck out.

Boyer signed a minor league deal with the Mets for 2011, then beat out Jason Isringhausen for a bullpen spot.  He got hammered in his first five outings, though, and the Mets designated him for assignment so they could add Isringhausen.  Boyer elected free agency.  The spike in his walk rate in 2010 has to be a concern, as a guy who’s consistently allowed more than a hit per IP, and misses few bats, can’t afford to walk people.  The Pirates will send him to Indianapolis, where he’ll provide bullpen depth.

STATS
Baseball Reference– Majors
Baseball Reference– Minors
Fangraphs
MLB.com
MiLB.com
CONTRACT INFORMATION
2011: Minor League salary
2010: $725,000
2009: $432,500
2008: $390,000
2006: $336,000
PLAYER INFORMATION
Signing Bonus: N/A
MiLB Debut: 2000
MLB Debut: 2005
MLB FA Eligible: 2013
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man: 2004
Options Remaining: 0 (USED: 2005, 2006, 2007)
MLB Service Time: 2.112
TRANSACTIONS
June 5, 2000: Drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 3rd round, 100th overall pick.  Signed on June 13, 2000.
April 20, 2009: Traded by the Atlanta Braves to the St. Louis Cardinals for Brian Barton.
June 8, 2009: Claimed off waivers by the Arizona Diamondbacks.
December 2, 2010: Became minor league free agent.
January 21, 2011:
Signed a minor league contract with the New York Mets.
March 30, 2011: Added to 40-man roster by the New York Mets.
April 10, 2011: Designated for assignment by the New York Mets.  Elected free agency on April 13, 2011.
April 20, 2011:
Signed minor league contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
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