In what could end up being an excellent move for David Forst, the Athletics acquired Joe Boyle from the Reds in July of last year. He made three starts at Double-A, posting a 2.08 ERA with 28 strikeouts in 17.1 innings.
Boyle was then promoted to Triple-A, where he again made three starts, this time with a 2.25 ERA and 18 strikeouts in 16 innings. He got called up to Oakland and made three final starts in September, posting a 1.69 ERA, this time with 15 strikeouts in 16 innings.
Boyle stands an intimidating 6'7" and has a fastball that averages nearly 98 mph. He adds in a nasty slider that generates a ton of whiffs, and he has a show-me curve to round out the arsenal. The fastball isn't an elite strikeout pitch but with his size and deception, it plays up.
His biggest issue has been the walks. While he walked 8.3% of batters during his stint in Oakland, Boyle has posted double-digit walk rates in nearly all of his minor league stops. It'll be the biggest thing holding him back but if he can learn to control his pitches, he can be a dominant starter in the majors.
Depending on his performance in spring training, Boyle should be the 5th man in the A's rotation on opening day. He has as much upside as anyone else on the pitching staff, including Mason Miller, and his performance in 2023 absolutely warrants his inclusion in the rotation.