Name: Evan Rutckyj
School level: HS
The Yankees took Canadian born Evan Rutckyj out of high school with their 16th round pick. This is one I really like, he’s a big lefty. It sounds like he’s a bit raw, but he’s only 18-year-old which should give the Yankees plenty of time to work with him. It also sounds like he was quite the steal as some people mentioned him going in the first round and most thought he’d be gone by the fifth. The Yankees got him in the 16th!
Here is what Baseball America had to say about him:
At 6-foot-5 and 215 pounds, Rutckyj (pronounced ROOT-ski) is a big-bodied lefthander with a chiseled frame, thanks to his time spent as a youth hockey player and his current offseason workout of choice, boxing. He’s relatively new to pitching, so he looked a bit raw on the showcase circuit last summer. He has worked hard with a private pitching coach and during his time with the Canadian junior national team to smooth out his mechanics and develop his secondary pitches. His delivery is looser now than it was in the summer, and he’s getting better extension. His arm action is pretty clean, but he needs to keep working to repeat his delivery and throw strikes more consistently. His fastball sits in the 87-91 mph range, touching 92, and his slider is 80-81. The slider shows occasional fringe-average break and there’s enough rotation to work with, but it’s still a work in progress. As his background may suggest, Rutckyj has a real tough-guy mentality on the mound. He is a project and the team that drafts him will need to be patient with his development.
Here is an excerpt from a Vancouver Sun article about him:
Rutckyj, 18, only made the full-time switch to the mound last season, passing on a chance to play for the Ontario Hockey League’s Barrie Colts this season to focus his energies solely on baseball for the first time in his life.
“His velocity has increased,” Solomon said. “He’s added eight miles (an hour) from last year to this year. He’s been touching 91, 92 when he throws.
“He’s moved into Baseball America’s top 100 list for talent. That’s a huge achievement for a kid from Windsor.”
It’s that raw potential which leads scouts to salivating over how much further Rutckyj may develop.
At the same time, it’s his rawness that may make some teams wary of spending an early pick on such a virtually untapped resource.
“Who knows what he can achieve?” Solomon said. “He’s got a high ceiling and he’s just getting started.
“He has no mileage on him. He’s basically pitched about 80 innings in the last year and a half. His arm is fresh, his arm is live, and everyone is in love with his athleticism, his ability to grasp what he’s taught, and also the fact that he’s left-handed.”
Finally, here is a video: