Zach Borenstein, Outfielder
A breakout season lead to a jump in every prospects list. However, Zach Borenstein deserves it with his plate abilities, helped with all his tools being average to above average. He won the 2013 California League Most Valuable Player Award, and nearly won the Triple Crown of the league. He is a special player that most teams want, and Inside The Halos voters love his talents enough to put him at the start of our top ten.
The thing that all scouts talked about with us were Borenstein's abilities at the plate. He has outstanding bat speed, which creates a lot of power. Something he needs to improve on is reading pitches. Other than that, he makes good contact from the left-side of the plate. His aggressiveness leads to a lot of ground balls, and not many walks, but also had lead to a lot of hits to the gap and extra base hits.
Along with the bat speed comes power. He isn't the most powerful guy despite the numbers but he has potential to hit 20+ home runs in the Major Leagues. It also helps that he has a frame (six-foot-one, 205 pounds) that is behind that swing with a lot of that being muscle. This is something you have to see in person to understand but he has broad shoulders and naturally looks like a power hitter. One thing to look at with his home run numbers is that nearly half came in very hitter friendly parks in the Cal League. He also spent half the 2013 season in a pitcher friendly park, and still managed to maintain his power though.
Borenstein has good speed. Not necessarily a "base-stealer" but it helps him cover ground well in the outfield. He is naturally suited as a left fielder, and has hardly any problems defensively. He has a good glove, good speed, and good range.
Borenstein is a very average player, with potential to be an above average player. There are no flaws in any of his tools, but they can get better.
Borenstein's numbers have become better with each season. Out of the draft in 2011, where he was taken in the 23rd round, he hit .274/.397/.451, while maintaining a low strikeout count, something not many young batters can do.
In his first full season, Borenstein dropped ever so slightly but started adding to his power numbers. His slash was .266/.339/.485, which he added 11 home runs, 25 doubles, and 50 RBI to.
2013 was a breakout season for Borenstein. He won California League Most Valuable Player honors, and missed the Triple Crown by 12 RBI, but both players ahead of Borenstein were in hitter friendly parks. His .337/.403/.631 slash was the most impressive in the entire Angels farm system, as well as his system leading 28 home runs, and 95 RBI. Along with these power numbers, Borenstein struck out just 18% of his plate appearances. Borenstein also hit the gaps well with 22 doubles and 7 triples. It was a record season for the Angels in High-A over the past few seasons.
Borenstein was invited to the Arizona Fall League at the end of the 2013 season where he struggled. He hit .136/.321/.227, with just one home run.
EXPECTED OF THE FUTURE:
Borenstein has to prove that 2013 wasn't a fluke due to his time in the hitter friendly Cal League. He is a hard worker though and will most likely show that it wasn't, most likely going to Double-A out of Spring Training. The Angels have been somewhat aggressive with Borenstein, particularly due to his bat, but also have not awarded him a callup at any point during the season.
As for Borenstein's future with the Angels, it's difficult. He's an outfielder which the Angels have many. It will take a lot for Borenstein to make the jump to the Major Leagues but he has the talent. Borenstein's estimated time of arrival to the Majors from our voters is 2016 with a progressive approach in the minors.
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