Q&A with Wisconsin-Milwaukee commit Matthew Boyer


By Andy Sroka
Staff Writer

Our PBR Illinois staff has gotten to know RHP Matthew Boyer (Edwardsville, 2019) since the start of the spring when Edwardsville was included in the number of programs taking part in our annual Metro East Kickoff Classic, where he made his season debut out of the bullpen. The strong 6-foot-2 righty carved out a solid role for himself within the Tigers pitching staff and he groomed a 1.45 ERA during the regular season.

In August, Boyer attended his most recent PBR event: Senior Games, hosted at Triton College. There, Boyer put together one of the day’s more impressive outings. The clean-armed right-hander was up to 86 mph and flashed a sharp, swing-and-miss breaking ball.

The on-the-rise Boyer leveraged his strong 2018 into a commitment, finally, in October when he declared his intent to play ball next fall at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

We recently had the opportunity to discuss the recruiting process with Boyer, what he was looking for out of his college experience, and his favorite memories in baseball to this point.

LATEST SCOUTING REPORT

Matthew Boyer RHP / Edwardsville, IL / 2019

8.7.18 - 6-foot-1, 175-pound, right-handed pitcher, athletic build with projectability in frame. Short side step to compact balance point, hip leads in-line to home, easy extension down the mound, square/heel first landing, athletic finish, smooth actions, repeats. High front side, long, clean arm swing, present arm speed through throwing window, over the top slot. Composed in game play, induced soft ground balls. Fastball, worked straight with downhill tilt, bottom of the strike zone, topped 86 mph, sat 83-84 mph. Curveball, 12/6 sharp break, feel for with arm speed, in the zone, 71-75 mph. Changeup faded, 78 mph.

OUR Q&A

PBR: What were your expectations about the recruiting process? Was it easier or more difficult than you anticipated?

Boyer: Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect because I didn’t know much about how the process worked. Over time, I learned more about the factors that affect recruiting, such as, availability of spots on a team, how scholarships work at different levels, and timing of commitments. These were all things that helped me focus in on a program that was right for me.

P: What were you looking for out of a college program to continue your baseball career at? Did location or distance from home play a factor in your decision?

B: As a pitcher, I was looking for a college program that would help me further develop my pitching game and take it to another level. I was fortunate to have been trained by a lot of talented people, but needed to find a program and coaches to help me both physically and mentally develop my game. I feel that UWM and Coach Bigler have a lot to offer in these areas. No, distance was not a factor.

P: When did the recruiting process really start to heat up for you? Was there a particular game or event that you feel accelerated the buzz around you?

B: I had received some contact from coaches over the last year, but the process really started to heat up during the summer of my junior year. I was at a number of tournaments and events that gave me exposure to coaches, one being a PBR event in August.

P: Where did Wisconsin-Milwaukee first see you? How did your relationship develop with them?

B: The university that I ended up choosing was at the PBR Senior Games at Triton College this summer. Coach [Cory] Bigler called me and stayed in contact following the event. I went to UWM for a visit and felt it was a great fit.

P: What do you like most about UWM and what were the key factors in making your decision?

B: I am excited to have the opportunity to contribute to a program as soon as possible. I feel like UWM is interested in helping me help me develop my pitching game to take it to another level, but to ultimately help the team win games. The coaching staff was very open about their process and how they saw me fitting in and I felt they have commitment to developing players as a huge part of their process.

P: Who is the best player you have faced in your state?

B: My high school teammate Drake Wescott (Edwardsville, 2020), a Louisville commit.

P: At what point in your career did you realize you were a college-caliber player and became serious about taking your game to the next level?

B: I had been told by my coaches that I could play at the college level, but really started believing it when I started receiving calls from colleges. I was unsure of the level that I might play at because of my size at the time. I grew later than many players but I have continued to grow and that has helped me compete.

P: What advice would you give to young baseball players striving to get where you are?

B: The best advice I would give to a younger player is to work at the game. Baseball takes a lot of effort to get better. Listening to what you are told by people who have played the game at a higher level before is important. Be willing to listen and be coached while putting in the hard work is key.

P: What is the most memorable moment in your baseball career to this point?

B: While playing baseball, I have had a lot of great moments but this past summer after my junior year, I was able to play against some very high-caliber teams with success. In particular, I had the opportunity to pitch against the No. 1 team in the state of Florida. We got the win and moved on to be one of the final eight teams out of 125 teams in that tournament. It was great experience for myself and our team.

P: Preview Edwardsville’s season for us. How do you feel your team will be? What are your expectations and goals?

B: I expect our high school team to do well this year. We did lose a few key starters from last year, but a majority of last year’s starters will be returning. We have a great opportunity to win the conference championship and expect to make it to the state finals.

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