The Braves’ third-round draft pick in 2000 and one of approximately 3,000 Atlanta-area high school pitchers the team has taken over the last decade, Boyer slowly rose through the system as a starter, not doing anything particularly spectacular but never embarrassing himself, until he was in Mississippi in 2005. When the bullpen was desperate for reinforcements in June, Boyer was called up and worked himself into a key setup role. He was outstanding, especially in August when he threw 13 1/3 scoreless innings with a batting average against of .098. Many people were thinking he would be the franchise closer the team had been looking for.
Unfortunately, Boyer’s shoulder went bad, leading to among other things Joey Devine getting put on the playoff roster. Boyer tried to come back in 2006 but was utterly ineffective in two brief appearances, and eventually the team and pitcher bit the bullet and he had shoulder surgery. Boyer hasn’t been great in Richmond this year; in particular, he’s had control issues, walking ten in fifteen innings. He hasn’t had that problem yet in Atlanta. I can’t imagine he’ll be as effective after surgery as he was in 2005 but I’m willing to be surprised.