Thursday, May 15, 2014

Bats: Left Throws: Right Height: 6’0” 225 lbs. DOB: 7/23/90
(Inland Empire): .337/.403/.631 with 28 HRs and 5 SBs

No other prospect on this list has been as debated and discussed as Zach Borenstein. Drafted in the 23rd round of the 2011 draft out of Eastern Illinois University, Borenstein made a huge name for himself in 2013 when he exploded offensively. Named the California League MVP, he ranked first among Angels prospects in homers, slugging, and batting average and ranked third in RBI—which led to him being named the Angels Minor League Player of the Year.

Defensively, Borenstein is well suited for playing left field. He has a strong arm and has the speed to cover a lot of ground. He makes all the plays and is slightly above average defensively. Offensively, Borenstein has a good mix of speed and power. He adds plenty of patience at the plate While not a prototypical power hitter, He has the potential to hit 20-25 HRs at the Major League level. He has the speed to go first to third on a single, and can steal a base or two, but he isn’t a burner. 

The big source of debate over Borenstein is whether or not his breakout season is a result of playing in the Cal League (a notorious hitters’ league) and against facing younger pitching. Those who doubt his abilities point to his poor showing in the AFL (.136/.321/.227). But, at, we point to the 9:11 K:BB ratio he had in 44 ABs. We believe that his showing in the AFL was more indicative of the effects of a long season with some nagging injuries.

This year, the Angels have started Borenstein off at Double-A Arkansas. It will be well worth watching him this year to see if Borenstein can finally silence his critics. Within the organization, Borenstein’s emergence may have played a factor in the Angels willingness to trade Bourjos and Grichuk during the offseason. A strong showing this year could put him in the outfield mix by the end of next year. 

For an interview that we did with Zach Borenstein, please click below.
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