Toronto Blue Jays Top-30 Prospects #17: Ryan Borucki

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Our list of top Blue Jays prospects continues with talented lefty Ryan Borucki, whose health remains the greatest threat to his longterm potential

Hon. Mentions Part 1    Hon. Mentions Part 2    #30: Freddy Rodriguez
#29: Evan Smith    #28: Deiferson Barreto    #27: Chad Girodo
#26: Roemon Fields    #25:  Rodrigo Orozco    #24:  Reggie Pruitt
#23: Joe Biagini    #22:  Carl Wise    #21: Tom Robson
#20 Matt Dean    #19: Andy Burns    #18: Guadalupe Chavez

Left-handed pitching prospect Ryan Borucki has all the makings of an Alex Anthopoulos pick. An immensely talented High School arm entering the 2012 MLB Amateur Draft, elbow concerns sent Borucki to the 15th round where Toronto was waiting.

After pitching just a handful of innings in 2012, the injury would linger and eventually result in Borucki undergoing a Tommy John surgery that wiped out his entire 2013 season.

Name: Ryan Borucki
Position: SP         Age: 21
Height: 6’4”    Age: 175 lbs.
Throws: Left             Bats: Left
Acquired: Round 15 draft pick (2012)

Borucki also fits the Anthopoulos regime in terms of body type and projectability. His frame is very long and lean, similar to Aaron Sanchez before he moved into the weight room with Marcus Stroman earlier this offseason.

After returning from Tommy John in 2014, Borucki quickly put himself back on the prospect map with an excellent “debut” season. Across 57.0 innings split between Bluefield and Vancouver, he posted a 2.37 ERA with a 0.842 WHIP, 8.2 K/9 and just 1.4 BB/9.

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His walk numbers were especially impressive that year (albeit in a small sample size), as pitch location is often a stumbling block for pitchers returning from that surgery.

Then, 2015 hit, and it was back to start. Multiple issues with Borucki’s throwing elbow and throwing shoulder limited him to just 5.2 innings before being shut down in mid-July.

In a roundabout way, however, that injury could prove to be a blessing in disguise for the Blue Jays. Being a left-handed arm with a high ceiling coming off an excellent 2014, Borucki would have been a popular name in trade talks as the Blue Jays loaded up ahead of the July 31st deadline. Instead, he remains in the system and continues to represent one of their highest-potential lefties.

Borucki’s fastball-changeup combination does have plus potential if he’s able to stay on the mound. His MLB.com scouting report reads “His fastball peaks at 94 mph with good life. He has some feel for his changeup, while his breaking ball still needs more work. He’s smoothed out his delivery since being drafted and fills up the strike zone with his whole arsenal.”

While he remains a very green prospect entering 2016 with a still-uncertain health situation, Borucki possesses true “boom” potential. If he is able to build upon his 2014 season, he could quickly see himself trending towards the top-10 prospects in the organization by season’s end.

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