No Regrets for Kyle Boyer

OF Kyle Boyer, struggling at Class-A Daytona with a .189 batting average in 39 games, was released this week. The 23-year-old Boyer was in his third professional season.

The right-handed hitting Cal State Fullerton alumnus hit modestly at short-season Class-A Boise in two stints from 2003-04, but was hitless in his first eight games at Daytona this year. He began the year in a 0-for-16 slump and hit below .200 for most of the entire season.

Boyer's last game with Daytona was on Sunday. He went 0-for-1 with a strikeout. On Tuesday night, he was released.

"I flew home late Wednesday and got in to San Diego around 11 p.m.," Boyer said. "I'm trying to get things situated and just figure out a few things right now."

Understandably, a lot has been going through Boyer's mind this week. With this year's First-Year Player draft taking place earlier in the week, Boyer knows there aren't too many minor league clubs in the market for outfielders, what with teams trying to sign recent draft picks.

"It isn't exactly good timing," admits Boyer. "I talked to my agent and he called a few teams to see if anyone needs an A-ball outfielder. Right now, I'm just enjoying the company of my family, my girlfriend, and my dogs. I'm going to try and keep in shape until I hear from another team."

Boyer himself was selected in the draft just two short years ago in the seventh round. His next baseball gig could involve a change in position.

"My agent talked to me about playing for an independent team in Orange County (Calif.) in the meantime," Boyer said. "They actually need a first baseman and were talking about me playing there. I want to think about it, because it's a 90-minute commute each day. I also don't want to be pushed into a stressful situation."

Boyer was a slow starter in both of the years he began with a full-season minor league team. While with the Lansing Lugnuts (Class Mid-A) in the first month of 2004, Boyer batted only .205 in 13 games. He told Inside The Ivy this spring that he had had some issues to iron out in regards to his batting stance, which resulted in a trip to extended spring training.

"I was crouching really low and they wanted me to stand up taller," Boyer said in March. "I worked with Tom Beyers a lot in 'extended' and then went to Boise where he was the manager. I really got into a groove and became comfortable with my stance."

Unfortunately, Boyer did not stay in that groove. He was a highly touted prospect out of college, and broadcasters raved about his good defense and strong throwing arm.

The former Titan holds no hard feelings against the Cubs.

"I understand it's a business," Boyer said. "Sometimes when you're at a job, there's a conflict of interest. Certain people don't get along with other types of personalities. I think that might have been what happened in my case. I think the Cubs may have gotten the wrong impression of me. I love to play the game and for some reason, I think that got distorted.

"As for holding a grudge, it's not a part of my personality. I don't hold grudges in my personal or business life. I have no hard feelings toward them. I think they went about it as this being better than sending me down (to Boise) again and again, so they gave me my release. I respect that, because they're actually giving me an opportunity to further my career if I choose to."

Should baseball not work out, Boyer still has something to fall back on.

"I have one more year left at Fullerton," he said. "If baseball doesn't work out in the next few weeks or months, I have the option of going back to school. With my major being Communications, I'd like to lean toward firefighting."

OF Tony McQuade, also a 2003 draft pick by the Cubs (15th round out of Florida State), was given his release earlier this year.

"Once we made the trade with Detroit and got Bo Flowers, it moved some guys around and I just didn't have any spots left," said Cubs Director of Player Development Oneri Fleita.

"Tony wasn't happy with his situation and he asked for his release. It's unfortunate sometimes. He and Kyle are both nice kids and I felt bad for them."

McQuade, 23, hit .294 at Lansing in his first full year in 2004. He was signed by the Cardinals after his release and is currently batting .239 in 14 games at Class-A Palm Beach.

Boyer finished his Cub minor league career with a .264 average in 166 games between Boise, Lansing and Daytona.

"It's not easy going through these things," said Boyer. "But you know what? Doors will open for me if I want them do and I'll keep playing if I want to. This is just another stepping stone."

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