Toronto Blue Jays Prospects

Blue Jays pitching prospects Francisco Rios, Ryan Borucki swap spots at single-A

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Oct 4, 2015; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays hat and glove lay in the dugout against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 4, 2015; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays hat and glove lay in the dugout against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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Blue Jays right-handed pitching prospect Francisco Rios has been promoted to Dunedin

The Toronto Blue Jays have promoted pitching prospect Francisco Rios from the single-A Lansing Lugnuts to the Dunedin Blue Jays after a breakout month.

Rios, a 21-year-old right-hander out of Mexico, held a 1.20 ERA over six starts and 30 innings pitched with the Lugnuts, arguably the strongest start to 2016 from any Blue Jays prospect.

Holding opponents to a .193 batting average with a whopping 43 strikeouts and just eight walks, Rios is finally turning his potential into on-field results and could be positioning himself for another step up the organizational ladder in the second half of the season.

Last season with the Vancouver Canadians, Rios posted a 4.27 ERA over 65.1 innings pitched while his opponents hit for an average of .279.

Going the other way from Dunedin back to Lansing, though, is left-handed pitching prospect Ryan Borucki, whose 2016 has gone in a completely different direction.

Ranked as Jays Journal’s number 17 prospect this past offseason, the 22-year-old underwent a Tommy John surgery that wiped out his entire 2013 season and was shut down early in 2015 after dealing with elbow and shoulder issues.

Opening 2016 with the D-Jays, Borucki managed just 20 innings pitched across his first six starts and allowed 32 earned runs, good for a 14.40 ERA.

Borucki has had a very difficult time missing bats as he’s struck out just 10 batters compared to 12 walks.

This is a troubling development because it not only represents an obvious struggle for Borucki, but also a step backwards from previous success. His limited innings earlier in his minor league career gave great promise, especially with a very projectable frame, but at 22, the Blue Jays will be hoping to see one of their few remaining left-handed pitching prospects turn a corner soon.

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Lansing could continue to feed some arms up the ranks as the summer moves on with several other top prospects still at the level.

Toronto’s 2015 first round pick Jon Harris has a sub-two ERA through his first four starts, Sean Reid-Foley‘s sits at 1.66, and Angel Perdomo has struck out 32 batters in 23 and a third innings.

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