Yesterday the right-handed pitcher of the Dutch National Team and the Hoofdklasse club DOOR NEPTUNUS reported to Dunedin, Florida for a tryout. Today Leon Boyd has a minor league contract in his pocket. The 25-year-old signed with the lone Canadian Major League organization and hopes to make it to the big leagues.
Boyd pitched in Europe for the past three years, beginning with the Belgian HOBOKEN PIONEERS in 2006, before moving over the border to NEPTUNUS ROTTERDAM in the Netherlands. The son of a Canadian ice hockey player and his Dutch wife had a 10-2 record and an ERA of 1.64 with 86 strikeouts (23 walks) in 93 1/3 innings last season. He also pitched for the Dutch team in the Beijing Olympics, going 1-0 with an ERA of 2.70.
In the 2009 World Baseball Classic he was the closer for the surprising Netherlands team, picking up a win and a save in the two upsets over the Dominican Republic. He allowed two runs on four hits and three walks in four innings. Boyd was clocked with a 92 MPH fastball during the WBC and was mainly used as a starting pitcher in the Hoofdklasse.
As good the signing, which was first reported in a Globe and Mail article, is for Boyd, as bad is the Minor League contract for his now former club DOOR NEPTUNUS. About three weeks before the start of the new season it will be difficult to find an adequate replacement at the top of the pitching staff.
Photo: © Ron Wickert, www.eott.nl