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James Bourque
Trending: ↑ 27%
P | B/T: R/R | 6' 4" 215LBS | Age: 27

Draft: 2014 | Rd: 14, #424, Washington Nationals | Huron
MLB Pipeline Rank
Poor Avg Great

Stats

W L ERA G GS SV IP SO WHIP
2020 1 0 6.75 6 0 0 4.0 1 2.00
2 Seasons 1 0 13.50 7 0 0 4.2 1 2.79
G W-L ERA IP SO WHIP
2020 6 1-0 6.75 4.0 1 2.00
2 Seasons 7 1-0 13.50 4.2 1 2.79

Standard MLB Pitching Statistics

SeasonTmLGBFWLERAGGSSVIPHRERHRBBSOWHIP
2019 WSH NL 6 0 0 54.00 1 0 0 0.2 3 4 4 0 2 0 7.50
2020 WSH NL 19 1 0 6.75 6 0 0 4.0 3 3 3 1 5 1 2.00
*: All Star Season, Rankings AL/NL: Top 5 10 15 20      Click for Chart.

Scouting Report

2020

Bourque pitched to mixed results as a swingman during his first two seasons at Michigan and didn't fare much better as a junior in 2014 after a move to the bullpen. His raw stuff continued to improve throughout his college career, though, and the Nationals took notice, eventually selecting Bourque in the 14th round in 2014. He struggled as a starter early in his pro career surrounding Tommy John surgery in 2015, but moved to the bullpen in 2018 and promptly took off in the new role, turning in a breakout performance between Class A Advanced Potomac and Double-A Harrisburg to claim a spot on the Nationals’ 40-man roster. After a strong start in 2019, Bourque had a forgettable big league debut in May and continued to scuffle following a demotion to Triple-A. 

Bourque boasts a pair of plus pitches when he’s at his best in a 96-98 mph fastball and a power breaking ball that registers in the mid-80s with sharp, downer action. He can miss bats with both offerings and averaged 12.1 strikeouts-per-nine across the upper Minors in 2019, albeit with below-average control (5.1 BB/9) that makes scouts question whether Major League hitters will chase his stuff outside of the zone.

Nationals club officials like Bourque’s aggressive approach but would like to see him pitch with less emotion, which they believe led to a lapse in his mechanics in 2019. Bourque’s pure stuff gives him a chance to be successful as a big league reliever, but only if he can improve his command. 



2019

Scouting grades: Fastball: 60 | Curveball: 60 | Control: 45 | Overall: 40

Bourque pitched to mixed results as a swingman during his first two seasons at Michigan and didn't fare much better as a junior in 2014 after a move to the bullpen. His raw stuff continued to improve throughout his college career, though, and the Nationals took notice, eventually selecting Bourque in the 14th round that June. He struggled as a starter early in his pro career surrounding Tommy John surgery in 2015, but moved to the bullpen in 2018 and promptly took off in the new role, turning in a strong first half with Class A Advanced Potomac, then posting a 0.92 ERA over 15 appearances after a July promotion to Double-A. After the season, the Nationals added Bourque to their 40-man roster. 

A big and physical right-hander, Bourque will show two plus pitches in any given outing. He reaches 97-98 mph with his heater and throws it with late life that makes it difficult to lift for hitters on both sides of the plate. His breaking ball is equally dynamic, thrown in the upper 80s with sharp, downer action that helps him miss bats with ease. Pitching at two levels in 2018, Bourque averaged 12.9 strikeouts-per-nine, with a 16 percent swinging strike rate. 

Bourque's ability to induce whiffs with both pitches makes his below-average control (4.4 walks-per-nine in '18) a lesser issue, though there is some concern over whether hitters will continue to chase his stuff outside of the zone at higher levels. Given the Nationals' history of aggressively pushing their best relief prospects, Bourque could soon find himself in the Major Leagues.


2018

Scouting grades: Fastball: 60 | Curveball: 60 | Control: 45 | Overall: 45

Bourque pitched to mixed results as a swingman during his first two season at Michigan and didn't fare much better as a junior in 2014 after a move to bullpen. His raw stuff continued to improve throughout his college career, though, and the Nationals took notice, eventually selecting Borque in the 14th round. After trying to gain traction as a starter early in his pro career, Bourque moved to the bullpen in 2018 and promptly took off in the new role, turning in a dominant first half with Class A Advanced Potomac en route to his first ever Double-A promotion at age 25 in July. 

A big and physical right-hander, Bourque has proved to be a late-inning force with his power fastball-curveball combo. He reaches 97-98 mph with his heater and throws it with late life that makes it difficult to lift for hitters on both sides of the plate. Bourque's breaking ball is equally dynamic, thrown in the upper 80s with sharp, downer action that helps him miss bats with ease.

Bourque's ability to induce whiffs with both pitches makes his below-average control a lesser issue, but there is some concern over whether hitters will continue to chase his stuff outside of the zone at higher levels. But with even minor improvements on that front, Bourque could soon find himself in the Major Leagues.



Statcast - Pitching

Season Pitches Batted Balls Barrels Barrel % Exit Velocity Launch Angle Sweet Spot % XBA XSLG WOBA XWOBA XWOBACON Hard Hit % K % BB % ERA xERA
2019 29 4 1 25.0 102.1 -3.6 25.0 .445 .861 .781 .600 .555 100.0 0.0 33.3 54.00 24.78
2020 76 13 3 23.1 94.8 13.4 53.8 .365 .785 .412 .506 .475 46.2 5.3 26.3 6.75 15.12
ALL 105 17 4 23.5 96.5 9.4 47.1 .383 .802 .500 .529 .493 58.8 4.0 28.0
MLB 43639 6.4 88.3 11.9 32.8 .250 .414 .317 .321 .376 34.9 21.8 8.3

Transactions

Team Date Transaction
09/28/2020 Washington Nationals activated RHP James Bourque from the 10-day injured list.
09/21/2020 Washington Nationals placed RHP James Bourque on the 10-day injured list. Right elbow strain.
09/07/2020 Washington Nationals recalled RHP James Bourque from Nationals Alternate Training Site.
08/06/2020 Washington Nationals optioned RHP James Bourque to Nationals Alternate Training Site.
07/23/2020 Washington Nationals recalled James Bourque from Harrisburg Senators.
03/26/2020 Washington Nationals optioned RHP James Bourque to Harrisburg Senators.
10/31/2019 James Bourque roster status changed by Washington Nationals.
10/01/2019 Washington Nationals reassigned RHP James Bourque to the minor leagues.
09/30/2019 Washington Nationals recalled RHP James Bourque from Fresno Grizzlies.
05/29/2019 Washington Nationals optioned RHP James Bourque to Fresno Grizzlies.
05/25/2019 Washington Nationals recalled James Bourque from Harrisburg Senators.
04/02/2019 RHP James Bourque assigned to Harrisburg Senators from Fresno Grizzlies.
03/08/2019 Washington Nationals optioned RHP James Bourque to Fresno Grizzlies.
11/19/2018 Washington Nationals selected the contract of James Bourque from Harrisburg Senators.
07/13/2018 RHP James Bourque assigned to Harrisburg Senators from Potomac Nationals.
04/04/2018 RHP James Bourque assigned to Potomac Nationals from Hagerstown Suns.
09/27/2017 Hagerstown Suns activated RHP James Bourque from the 7-day disabled list.
08/24/2017 Hagerstown Suns placed RHP James Bourque on the 7-day disabled list retroactive to August 22, 2017.
06/07/2016 RHP James Bourque assigned to Hagerstown Suns from Auburn Doubledays.
09/11/2015 Auburn Doubledays activated RHP James Bourque from the 7-day disabled list.
06/19/2015 Auburn Doubledays placed RHP James Bourque on the 7-day disabled list.
06/26/2014 RHP James Bourque assigned to Auburn Doubledays from GCL Nationals.
06/19/2014 RHP James Bourque assigned to GCL Nationals.
06/18/2014 Washington Nationals signed RHP James Bourque.