Ryan Borucki, LHP, was taken in the 15th round of the 2012 draft. The 23 year old flew under the radar after undergoing Tommy John surgery and struggling with shoulder injuries that limited his ability to stay on the mound. Coming into 2016, Borucki had thrown only 68.2 IP from 2012-2015. He found his groove in 2016 at Lansing, making 20 starts and throwing 115.2 IP. The lefty posted a solid 2.41 ERA and 8.33 K/9.
Coming into 2017, Borucki was promoted to Advanced A Dunedin, where he made 18 starts covering 98 IP and posting a career high 10.01 K/9, 2.83 xFIP, and a 4.04 K/BB. The Jays promoted Borucki to AA New Hampshire where he was even better posting a 1.94 ERA in 48 IP. He even made one start at AAA Buffalo, throwing 6 shutout innings.
While Borucki doesn’t possess a big fastball, he excels in every other facet on the mound. He has an efficient and repeatable delivery. He keeps the ball down in the zone, utilizing a 60 grade change-up to induce a 50% GB rate and weak contact. He throws strikes and has excellent control of 3 pitches. He is an exceptional athlete. Borucki spoke at length with me about playing basketball and how growing up playing hoops has made him a better athlete.
Borucki throws 3 pitches. FB (88-92), change-up, and slider. The slider was a recent addition to his repertoire and has been so good that Borucki can throw it in any count. He can run it in on RHBs or backdoor them on the black. It also keeps hitters off of his fastball and forces the hitters to adjust to another plane, as his slider has great tilt. His change up is his best pitch and is a major league change up right now. MLB.com grades it as a 60 but I wouldn’t be surprised to see grades of 65-70. Borucki is able to throw all 3 pitches out of the same slot with similar arm speed.
I expect Borucki to reach Toronto sometime in 2018 with a chance of cracking the rotation with a good spring. His profile would fit nice in the hitter friendly Rogers Centre, giving up only 7 HR in 150 IP in 2017. Based on his athleticism, change-up, control, and bulldog demeanor, he reminds me of a young Tom Glavine. While I don’t expect Borucki to win 300 games (I don’t expect to see any SP win 300 again), he has the ability to be an effective middle of the rotation starter with the pitchability to anchor a rotation.
Borucki finished the season with 26 starts, 150 IP, 2.93 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, .236 Avg, 36 BB and 157 K. He should climb into the Blue Jays top 10 overall prospects to start 2018.
Below is my interview with Borucki from July 7, 2017