On a quiet afternoon in Detroit, a suspicious character in a hooded sweatshirt loads workout equipment from the Tigers’ weight room in Comerica Park into the back of a pickup truck before driving away.
Luckily for the organization, the man in the hoodie is their left-handed ace, Matthew Boyd.
Instead of being a month into the Major League Baseball season, players and coaches are still at home, trying to figure out the best ways to amend their training programs to make sure they are ready when games are finally played. For Matthew Boyd, that means relocating a few key pieces of equipment to his basement.
On this episode of the Rapsodo Baseball Podcast, Boyd joins Seth and BP discuss his approach to training and pitch development, making the most of a difficult time, and so much more.
The Oregon State Days
Before he made it to the big leagues, Boyd grew as a player and person at one of the true powerhouse programs in college baseball – Oregon State.
The guys talked with him about his transition from late-inning reliever to the starting rotation. All of which was made possible by his decision to return for his senior season, despite being drafted in the 13th round as a junior.
If you are a young player hoping to play at the college level, listening to Boyd speak of the incredible relationships he built with coaches and teammates will make you want to get outside and keep working on your game. If you played college ball, his stories about MarioKart battles in the “baseball house” will bring on some serious nostalgia.
Big League Mentality
Throughout the conversation, Boyd gives great tips for players and coaches about building up the right mentality, then building the pitches to compliment a winning mindset.
Boyd finished 2019 with 238 strikeouts, landing him in the top 10 in all of Major League Baseball. He goes deep on how he developed the repertoire to accomplish that goal, but also gives incredible insight to the approach he brings to the mound each start.
“For me, it’s a coupling of knowing the scouting report and trusting what I see in the box,” Boyd said. “You have to have a plan and attack, but also trust your eyes and your instincts to make adjustments.”
Know Who You Are
For a player who is so knowledgeable and engaged with data (I mean, his mom sent his personal Rapsodo unit from his offseason home in Seattle so he could continue using it during social distancing), it might surprise listeners to know his first piece of advice for young players has nothing to do with data.
“The best way to learn is to go out and play, throw a lot and have fun doing it,” Boyd said. “When you do that, you learn about yourself and your strengths, and that’s when technology can take you to a whole new level.”
Let’s get deep in the details on how Matthew Boyd prepares, trains, and leverages technology, on the Rapsodo Baseball Podcast.