Bobby Poyner is one of the two relievers the Red Sox called up after a dominant spring training performance, but what can you expect from the rookie lefty?
The Boston Red Sox drafted Poyner from the University of Florida in the 14th round of the 2015 MLB Amature Draft. Poyner never had impressive stats in college as he only had an ERA under 3.00 in his last college season, but in two of his college seasons, he had a WHIP of .950 or lower.
After being drafted, Poyner spent the rest of 2015 with the Lowell Spinners where he assumed the role of middle reliever. His 2.28 ERA and 1.310 WHIP may not have been the perfect numbers for a reliever, but Poyner was promoted to the Single-A Greenville Drive at the beginning of the 2016 season. After one month with Greenville, Poyner put up a dominant 0.35 ERA and 0.423 WHIP in 26 innings, which led to Poyner being sent to the Salem Red Sox.
While in Salem, Poyner began to struggle, putting up a 4.99 ERA and 1.387 WHIP throughout 39.2 innings. Poyner started the 2017 season in Salem due to his poor stats with them the previous season and was eventually called up to the Portland Sea Dogs after putting up numbers reminiscent of his college stats in Salem. While pitching in Portland, Poyner began to put up outstanding numbers again with a 0.94 ERA and 0.783 WHIP in 38.1 innings.
What ultimately led to Poyner’s call-up was his invite to spring training. Throughout 10.1 innings in spring training, Poyner only gave up one run and four hits. After showing promise in spring training, Poyner was added to the major league roster.
While Poyner has a 2.57 ERA and 1.286 WHIP in the majors, he is also on the 10-day disabled list for a left hamstring strain. Before his injury, Poyner had a much lower 1.80 ERA and a 0.800 WHIP.
Poyner has three main pitches that he uses, a fastball, a changeup, and a curveball. His fastball tops out at 92 mph while his changeup and curveball range from 76 to 80 mph.
While more than two-thirds of Poyner’s pitches in the majors have been strikes, 11 of plate appearances against Poyner have ended in an out via contact and eight have ended in a strikeout.
Poyner hopes to return to the bullpen by the end of April, and he will stay in the bullpen much longer if he continues to pitch how he has so far.