Oakland A's fourth-round pick B J Boyd has dazzled at Palo Alto High School throughout his upperclassman campaign, standing out as a dual sport athlete on the gridiron and on Paly's baseball field. He lead his team to a state title in football during the 2011 season and earned a CCS championship with Palo Alto's baseball team in the spring. During Boyd's senior season, he had 17 receiving touchdowns and returned six kickoffs to the endzone, while baffling opposing defenses with his phenomenal rushing ability and exhibiting leadership that brought Palo Alto to a second consecutive playoff appearance. His athleticism would shine through in the outfield, however, where he would compile an MLB draft-worthy resume.
Boyd capitalized off of his well-built, compact 5'10"/205 pound frame in centerfield for the Vikings, hitting .462/.511/.563 for Palo Alto's CCS championship squad in 2011. His senior encore would best his junior accomplishments, as he would be honored with CCS player of the year in baseball thanks to .507/.628/.704 statline. In his final high school contest at the San Jose Giants' ballpark, Boyd slapped a triple and drew three walks in what ultimately was a losing effort. Just a couple of weeks later, Boyd would be selected at #139 overall in the first year draft by the A's the evening before his graduation.
Boyd is an interesting commodity, possessing a build comparable to current A's prospect Rashun Dixon, yet, for his draft position and baserunning capability draws similarities to another A's prospect, Aaron Shipman. Boyd swiped 45 bags in 55 attempts (82% success rate) as an upperclassman. Chris Kusiolek caught up with Boyd moments after his name was announced on the second day of the draft.
Chris Kusiolek: You were selected at #139 overall, the 7th overall selection for Oakland, and the 16th highest high school outfielder selected in the draft. What was your initial reaction to the announcement?
B.J. Boyd: It was fantastic. I grew up a fan of the Athletics and I got who I wanted to sign with. It's just an awesome feeling to be drafted by your dream choice.
CK: What were your expectations? Higher or lower than #139.
BJB: To be honest, I expected to go lower. So to be selected at 139 was a blessing and I'm very appreciative of where I went. I just have to continue to put the work in.
CK: What would you describe as your premier achievement at Palo Alto High School?
BJB: Winning the state title in 2011 and the CCS title the same year.
CK: Where are you most comfortable in the lineup?
BJB: Definitely at leadoff. I'm most comfortable there so that's my position and I'm sticking there.
CK: You were drafted as a centerfielder, but would be willing to move to left or right if requested?
BJB: I'd be willing to move anywhere. Again, I'm just grateful for this opportunity to play professional baseball and I'll do whatever they tell me.
CK: What had you previously known about the Athletics organization and their reputation?
BJB: They were my team growing up here in California. Still can't believe they got me where I landed. I know they're well known for building up prospects so hopefully I can produce in that system.
CK: What's one area you feel you must improve?
BJB: My arm strength. I have short arms but I just need to improve my strength there so I can please the scouts.
CK: The signing deadline isn't until July13th and you've got a lot of time to make decision, but at this moment are you leaning towards signing or heading to college?
BJB: I'm definitely signing. Couldn't ask for a better opportunity and I'm signing 100%. I got my dream to play baseball for a living.