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