Jays From the Couch continues counting down our 2016 Blue Jays Top Prospects with PT4 of our Honorable Mentions.
Jays from the Couch kicked off the 2016 Top Prospect list with a pair of lottery arms Angel Pardomo and Hansel Rodriguez (Part 1), followed by Buffalo Bisons Andy Burns and Chad Girodo who could both make their major league debut in 2016 (Part 2), and recently looked at Lansing Lugnut’s Lane Thomas and Joshua Almonte (Part 3).
This brings Jays From the Couch to the final two 2016 HM prospects: Shane Dawson and Ryan Borucki. Dawson is an under appreciated pitcher who dominated in 2015 and Ryan Borucki is an oft-injured talented left-handed pitcher.
DOB: September 9th, 1993
Bats: R Throws: L
Drafted in the 17th round of the 2012 draft, Dawson has steadily climbed through the minor league system. He’s posted excellent numbers at every level posting a career record of 22-16 and 3.04 ERA in 260.1IP, despite lacking a infraspinatus muscle in his left shoulder and possessing average ‘stuff’.
Talking about stuff, Dawson throws a high-80’s fastball that’s been known to crest the 90 mph mark from time to time. He’s also thrown a slider and change mix with more success this past year. Shane’s secondary offerings are thrown in the mid to low 80’s.
The Drayton Valley, Alberta native had a huge year in 2015. Not only did he have a successful minor league season at two levels, he was also was a member of this years Canada’s gold medal team at the Pan-Am games. Shane pitched 6.2IP, making 2 relief appearances, striking out 5, walking one and finishing the tournament without allowing a run.
Shane Dawson finished 2015 with 15 wins and 6 losses, an earned run average of 3.03 in 24 games (22 starts). He earned a late season promotion to Dunedin for 5 successful August starts. His stats didn’t change much with the promotion, as Dawson was still able to get guys out. Shane saw his K/9 drop from 8.68 with Lansing to 7.62 with the D-Jays, while also seeing an increase in his BB/9 from 2.12 to 2.77.
John Manuel of Baseball America: I do not see Shane Dawson as a prospect because of his well-below-average fastball. According to the scouts & player development folks I have talked to, despite his strong 2015 season, Dawson is more of an organizational player than a big leaguer. I hope he proves me wrong. But he wasn’t a serious threat for the Top 10, even in a trade-depleted system. (full article)
In total, Dawson managed to strike out 120 batters and only walk 32 in a 127.2IP and held opponents to .242 batting average. There numbers earned Dawson a pitcher of the week award in July and a spot on the Midwest Mid-Season All-Star team.
2016 will see Dawson continue his ascent through the system, starting in Dunedin. With only 5 starts in Advanced-A, Dawson should see at least 10 starts at the level, before finding his way to Double-A New Hampshire.
DOB: March 31st, 1994
Bats: L Throws: L
Another 2012 draft pick, Borucki was selected in the 15th round. A stark contrast to Shane Dawson’s 260 innings pitched, the 6’4″ lefty has only managed to pitch 68.2 innings, despite being used primarily as a starter. Borucki has spent a lot of time on the disabled list missing all of 2013 after undergoing Tommy John on his elbow.
Ryan throws a live low-90’s fastball with movement, but can touch the mid-90’s. His fastball has some nice sink and run to the left side of the plate. Borucki also throws an average mid-70’s curve and a plus mid-70’s change.
2015 was a disappointing season for the lanky lefty, who showed great promise putting up solid numbers in 2014 after his return from Tommy John. In 2014 he pitched 57 innings for Bluefield (rookie ball) and Vancouver (short season Low-A), while posting a 3-2 record and 2.37ERA with good control (1.4BB/9 and 8.2K/9). Ryan was placed on the DL on June 18th, returned on July 7th and immediately sent to the GCL Blue Jays.
Ryan pitched one inning with the GCL Blue Jays, allowing one hit and striking out one. He was returned to the C’s for a July 11th start, where he pitched 2 innings, allowing 4 hits, a run and striking out 3. In his final start of the year, July 16th, Ryan struggled with his control in 2.2IP, walking 3 and striking out 3 while allowing one run on 2 hits. After the start I heard he would miss his next start with shoulder soreness, but never returned.
Borucki’s health will dictate what 2016 will look like for one of the few LHP left in the system. Look for him to start the year in with a short season club (Bluefield or Vancouver). If healthy, he will move quickly through the system. He projects as middle of the rotation starter, but he could find himself in the bullpen if he continues to experience health issues.
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Shaun Doyle is a long time Blue Jays fan and writer! He decided to put those things together and create Jays From the Couch. Shaun is the host of Jays From the Couch Radio, which is highly ranked in iTunes, and he has appeared on TV and radio spots.