David Forst

Why A's prospect Joe Boyle exceeded David Forst's expectations

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Programming note: Watch Brodie Brazil's exclusive interview with Oakland Athletics general manager David Forst in "A's Season Review," which will debut Thursday at 10:30 p.m., after "Sharks Postgame Live," on NBC Sports California.

Right-hander Joe Boyle was one of the few bright spots during the Athletics' bleak 2023 MLB season. 

The 24-year-old pitcher initially was a project for Oakland when it acquired him from the Cincinnati Reds at the 2023 trade deadline, but he performed well enough in the minors to earn three starts and make his MLB debut.

Boyle earned the praise of Oakland general manager David Forst for his elite yet limited outings in a recent interview with NBC Sports California’s Brodie Brazil.

“Yeah, no doubt [Boyle exceeded expectations]," Forst said. "I don't think we knew he'd be in the big leagues by the end of the year. I think we did a lot of work on him. Our office group did a great job breaking down his command issues in the minor leagues.”

Boyle spent much of 2023 with the Chattanooga Lookouts, Las Vegas Aviators and Midland RockHounds, making 25 appearances in the minor leagues before getting his shot in Oakland.

The A's biggest concern with Boyle was his command, as he issued 93 walks and 15 wild pitches in 117 1/3 innings in the minors this summer, but he thrived in Oakland. Boyle posted a 1.69 ERA and whiffed 15 batters compared to five walks across 16 innings, and the A's won two of his three starts.

While Forst acknowledged Boyle’s success, he also expects more to come and was frank about Boyle’s role in the A’s pitching staff next season.

“His three starts have given him a leg up when it comes to the rotation talks for '24," Forst said.

The A's ranked second-to-last in team ERA last season (5.48), so a full season of Boyle's promising arm likely will serve them well.

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