19. Jayce Boyd
Weight: 185 lbs.
I don’t think Jayce Boyd receives enough credit as a prospect. You won’t find him high on many top prospect lists because as a first baseman, he struggles to hit for much power. What he can do, however, is simply hit.
Drafted by the Mets in the 6th round of the 2012 draft out of FSU, Boyd went straight to Low-A ball in Brooklyn that same year and struggled. However, 2013 tells a completely different story. He started in Savannah, completely tearing up the pitching there with a .361 average and .441 OBP in 249 AB’s. After being moved to St. Lucie he continued to impress with a .292 average and .392 OBP. He only hit nine home runs across both levels (659 AB’s) which is what holds him back as a first base prospect, but it is also worth noting he only struck out 91 times across both levels (with 86 BB’s).
His frame should allow him to run into more power in the future but it might be limited due to his wide stance and level swing. He plays sharp defense with soft hands, solid range, and a strong arm so I’m surprised the Mets haven’t tried him out at third base or a corner outfield spot where his advanced hit tool would play much better. Learning to play multiple positions would increase his value in general, especially in the case he ends up a bench player.
Outlook: With his advanced approach and maturity, Jayce should have an easy time making his way through the minor league system. He will most likely begin the year at Binghamton where his talents will be tested more than they were in A ball. If Jayce can continue to hit for such a good average if and when he reaches the big leagues he should have no problem finding a starting job at first whether he runs into more power or not, especially when considering his plus defense.
There are plenty of valuable first basemen in the majors who hit for average but lack plus power. James Loney and Allen Craig come to mind right away and they both start on quality major league ball clubs so you’d have to think Boyd would be able to find a job somewhere if he could hit like them. If he struggles to maintain a high average climbing the minor league system, he may find it worthwhile to learn a few different positions so he could make a living in the majors as a utility player.
24. Juan Centeno, C
20. Luis Mateo, RHP
19. Jayce Boyd, 1B
18. Thursday, Jan. 16
17. Friday, Jan. 17
16. Saturday, Jan. 18
15. Sunday, Jan. 19