Clearing out the notebook …
As if No. 4-ranked Mundelein needed more momentum heading into the Class 4A playoffs, the Mustangs got it. LHP Ryan Borucki, who was the No. 1-ranked prospect prior to injuring his elbow early in the season, is back throwing.
Borucki was originally told he’d need Tommy John surgery to repair his elbow. Instead of getting the surgery right away, Borucki continued to play first base and hit for the Mustangs. As the season progressed, his arm felt better and better. He recently got a second opinion, and was told the tear was less significant than originally thought, and may not need surgery to repair it.
The 6-foot-4 Borucki first threw a JV game with a handful of pro scouts in attendance a few weeks back. Borucki’s fastball was in the 90-92 range. Since then, he’s thrown in a few more games, gradually building up his stamina. No doubt Borucki’s presence will give Mundelein even more bounce in the playoffs.
When healthy, he has lights-out stuff – the type of stuff that had his name mentioned as a top-5 round guy. Even not at 100 percent, Borucki is probably better than 99.5 of the pitchers in Illinois.
But why? Borucki’s future on the mound is undeniable. All arms and legs, his upside is unlimited. When he fills into his frame, and combine it with his electric arm and three-pitch mix, you have something really special. So why risk it now?
If he wants to help the Mustangs win a state title in his senior year, that’s awesome. Kudos for being the ultimate team guy. Maybe he will never need surgery. I hope that’s the case. But if he does need surgery, deciding not to have it until after the season will likely cost him his freshman year at the University of Iowa.
♦ Prediction: Blake Hickman (Simeon HS, IL) will go higher in the draft than some people may think. But not as a catcher. The 6-foot-4 Hickman is extremely interesting on the mound. He’s working in the low-90s right now, and he’s spent most of his baseball career behind the dish. What happens when he gets some professional tutelage on the mound? Seems like a cheap, high-yielding gamble to take him, give him fifth-round money, and see what happens.
♦ Last year’s PBR Illinois Player of the Year, Sam Travis, earned Big 10 Freshman of the Year honors. The Providence Catholic grad tallied 9 homers, 16 doubles and 50 RBI at the University of Indiana. He batted .327 with 72 hits.
* University of Kentucky freshman A.J. Reed (Terre Haute South HS, IN) has been named one of the top-10 finalists for the John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award, given annually to the top two-way player in the nation, it was announced by the College Baseball Hall of Fame on Wednesday night. Reed is the only freshman among the top-10 two-way stars in college baseball.
A 6-foot-4, 230-pound left-handed pitcher and first baseman, Reed has hit .311 with nine doubles, four homers and 40 RBI. On the mound, Reed has pitched in 15 games with five starts, posting a 5-2 record and a 2.62 ERA, tossing 44.2 innings, walking seven and striking out 43.
♦ Junior OF Mike Hermosillo (Ottawa HS, IL) is having a monster spring. As one of the premier athletes in Illinois, Hermosillo has swiped 43 bases this season. He’s batting .512 with six homers, five triples, six doubles and 30 RBI. As a sophomore, Hermosillo broke the PBR Underclass Showcase record by running a 6.66 60 indoors.