Jays From the Couch brings you the player Highlights & Lowlights from the 2017 season. This time: Ryan Borucki
The 2017 season was a one to remember for the 6’4-left-hander, Ryan Borucki. In fact, his good fortune started mid-way through the 2016 season and he has been riding that wave ever since. After turning around his season in Lansing, he saw himself added to the Toronto Blue Jays 40-man roster in November. In return for keeping him off the Rule 5 trading block, Borucki, showed all exactly why some in the organization where pounding the table on his behalf.
|2016||22||2 Teams||2 Lgs||A-A+||11||8||4.18||4.58||26||26||135.2||145||69||63||11||38||117||1.349||9.6||0.7||3.08|
|2017||23||3 Teams||3 Lgs||A+-AA-AAA||8||8||2.93||3.59||27||26||150.1||132||60||49||7||36||157||1.118||7.9||0.4||4.36|
After several injury-laden seasons had stalled his progress, Borucki’s stock skyrocketed through the summer months as he jumped three levels. After posting a solid 3.58 ERA over 98.0 IP in Dunedin, the Illinois native earned himself a promotion to the Double-A Fisher Cats. A level deep with talent, and notorious for humbling prospects, but not this time.
Instead, the left-hander put together some of the best performances of his impressive season. In all, he made seven starts with the Fisher Cats, five being of 7.0 IP with three earned-runs or less, including three with none. Despite his K/9 ratio dropping from 10.0 to 8.2 during these seven starts, he also limited the amount of free passes allowed which boosted his SO/W ratio from 4.04 in Dunedin to 5.25 with New Hampshire. Typically, this ratio would go backwards with hitters at the AA level being more patient.
Taking the the fight to the hitters a little more was something which seemed to drive Borucki during his stint in New Hampshire. Agreed, the sample is only seven starts; however, this approach seemed apparent with his strike percentage edging up from 64.9 to 65.5. This also aided in a reduced pitches-per-inning total after his promotion, which was already excellent at 15.25, but was brought down to a remarkable 13.67. Of course, it would be irresponsible to mention all of this without shining a light on his ability to keep the ball in the park. Over a career-high 150.1 IP, the 23-year-old managed a paltry 0.4 HR/9 ratio by allowing only seven homeruns the entire season.
This can be attributed to his hard work, mental approach, and pairing with rising catching prospect, Danny Jansen. All of which is explained in an excellent article published earlier this month on our site.
This continued excellence earned yet another promotion, this time to Triple-A Buffalo. Though it was late in the season and resulted in only one start with the Bisons, his excellence remained. Helping to boost his stock was a 6.0 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K outing versus Pawtucket.
Surprisingly, in a season full of many highs, the start to 2017 was a rough one. Toronto’s lefty prospect opened the season with a 6.52 ERA after a four starts. However, any questions which may have been raised were quickly put to rest. Combined with his remarkable 20-game stint with the Lansing Lugnuts during 2016, Borucki, has eased the concerns over his health. While also making the statement that his time is coming soon.
The 2018 season could see Borucki make his MLB debut; however, it will most likely see him begin his season making starts just south of border in Buffalo. With continued progression he should be one of the arms considered in the 6-8 members of rotation depth for 2018. A priority of organization mentioned by GM Ross Atkins earlier this offseason.
If you would like to hear the insightful interview with the Toronto Blue Jays’ rising pitching prospect, you can find it here. We guarantee you will enjoy listening to him breakdown his season.
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Wade is a long time baseball fan who has been involved with the game for over 30 years. Including as a former college player, amateur pitching coach, and blogger.