Feb 26, 2014; Tempe, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Angels outfielder Zach Borenstein poses for a portrait during photo day at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Prospects on the Move: Zach Borenstein


While the Cubs/A’s trade that featured top Athletics prospects Addison Russell and Billy McKinney as well as established big league pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel (two of the hottest trade deadline targets) grabbed all the headlines, there was another trade made yesterday that features a prospect or two.

The Arizona Diamondbacks traded left-handed reliever Joe Thatcher and outfielder Tony Campana to the Los Angeles Angels for two prospects, outfielder Zach Borenstein and reliever Joey Krehbiel.

Borenstein, 23, was listed as the Angels #11 consensus prospect going into 2014 after a tremendous 2013 campaign for High-A Inland Empire that saw him named the Angels’ Minor League Player of the Year with a .337/.403/.631 triple-slash line.

The Angels’ 23rd-round draft pick in 2011 must have benefited from the thin air in the California League, posting career-outlier numbers that he hasn’t matched since and he hasn’t come close to duplicating his 2013 home run total of 28 dingers in 2013 anywhere else in the Angels’ system.

In 48 Double-A Games, Borenstein is hitting .266/.338/.440 with a solid 10.1% walk rate but an extremely elevated 25.6% strikeout rate. He only has five home runs in 207 plate appearances. In 123 Triple-A plate appearances (in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League), Borenstein has fared even worse, hitting .356/.279/.342 with just two home runs, a miniscule 2.4% walk rate and a 26.8% strikeout rate. His BABIP at both levels are above average (.344 in Double-A and .337 in Triple-A) meaning that progression is unlikely without further development of his batting eye and ability to cut down the strikeouts.

Krehbiel, a 6-foot-2 righty, was drafted in the 12th round of the same draft by the Angels coming out of high school. This year, in his second pitching in full-season ball, Krehbiel has posted excellent numbers for the Angels’ affiliates in Class-A Burlington and (in a small sample size) in High-A Inland Empire. Beyond the Box Score’s consensus ranking system had Krehbiel as the 42nd-ranked Angels prospect going into 2013.

Krehbiel, 21, is said to have a low-to-mid-90s fastball with a good changeup and a developing breaking ball. Taylor Ward, publisher and editor of angels.scout.com, quoted a broadcaster from the Midwest League as saying,”Out of everyone that came through Burlington this season, Krehbiel is definitely the guy that will make the Majors.”

Neither prospect is in the same league as either Russell or McKinney but both could have something to offer their new team, the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Tags: Arizona Diamondbacks Los Angeles Angels