Baseball: Blue Jays draft Mundelein’s Borucki
Ryan Borucki, warming up in the bullpen during the sectional semifinal game, was drafted in the 15th round on Tuesday. | Brian O'Mahoney~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 12, 2012 10:51AM
Now-graduated Mundelein senior pitcher and staff ace Ryan Borucki was actually laying in bed Tuesday afternoon, when his phone went off, and he got the news most kids only dream about.
That news being that he’d just been selected in the 15th round (475th overall pick) of the 2012 Major League Baseball amateur draft, by the Toronto Blue Jays.
“I was trying to take a nap, and all of the sudden I got two text messages in a row congratulating me,” Borucki said. “One was from my sophomore basketball coach, and right after that I got one from Stevenson’s (shortstop) Adam Walton. Right away, I ran downstairs and asked my mom, ‘Did I just get drafted?’
“Then people started calling me and texting me saying they guessed they needed to go out and get some Toronto Blue Jays gear to wear,” Borucki added. “It’s a dream come true.”
It definitely wasn’t a business-as-usual day for Borucki.
“It all started earlier in the day when several teams contacted me and asked me if I was willing to go down in price as far as the amount I was looking for from a signing bonus, but I wouldn’t,” Borucki said. “After that, I felt a little disappointed because I didn’t think anyone would want to pick me up because of it. It’s such a great feeling. Even my dad said I looked down most of the day before I got the call. Finally, he saw me smile, and said, ‘you look like the happiest kid in the world.’ ”
Although Borucki respectfully declined to share the specific amount he was looking for from a signing bonus, he did share which teams had requested he lower his asking price.
“The Blue Jays, New York Mets and Miami Marlins all contacted me (Tuesday morning) trying to get me to come down (on my price),” Borucki said.
The 6-foot-4 left hander, whose fastball reaches 92 mph on the radar gun, pitched just 17 2/3 innings during the regular season for Mundelein, allowed only one earned run and struck out 30 of the 68 hitters he faced. He also threw four innings in the IHSA Class 4A Glenbrook South sectional title game, where he also gave up just one earned run, for a no-decision.
In April, Borucki told Pioneer Press he was ‘99 percent certain’ he’d decline signing with a MLB club if he was drafted, and instead attend the University of Iowa on a baseball scholarship, where he signed a letter of intent to play at the college level. That announcement came shortly after he was told by doctors he’d need Tommy John ligament replacement surgery on his throwing elbow, after he tossed a no-hitter against Cary-Grove in late March, then experienced lingering pain.
He then shocked everyone by making a pain-free late season comeback, appearing in three games — two in relief, and one as a starter. Despite his earlier comments, he hasn’t completely ruled out the possibility of heading to the minor leagues for the Blue Jays.
“It all depends on how many of their draft picks who were selected before me sign with them,” Borucki said. “The way the draft works now, if some of their picks don’t sign, and they have extra money left over, it becomes available for them to use to sign other players, like me. Over the next few weeks, they (Toronto) told me they’re going to come to my house and discuss things further, so I don’t really know yet.”
Mundelein coach Todd Parola is thrilled for Borucki.
“It’s such an exciting time for him and his family,” Parola said. “Ryan’s always worked very hard, and it’s good to see his dreams come true. He’s in a win-win situation. He can choose to go live out his dream, and if he doesn’t do that, he gets to go out to Iowa and go to college and continue his career there. Everyone involved with Mundelein baseball congratulates him.”