Winning a Triple Crown is tough in the majors, but it’s almost as tough in the minors. Inland Empire outfielder Zach Borenstein has a shot.
Borenstein, a 23rd round draft pick out of Eastern Illinois, leads the California League in batting (.341). The next two players behind him in that category have been promoted and won’t have enough at-bats by the end of the year to qualify.
The other two categories might be tougher. Borenstein has 21 home runs, trailing only Rancho Cucamonga’s Scott Schebler (23) and Sixers teammate Michael Snyder (22).
In RBI Borenstein (76) trails just Andrew Aplin (84) and Matt Duffy (77), both of Lancaster. That might the toughest deficit to overcome because the two frontrunners have a decided advantage playing in the most hitter friendly venue in the league. It’s actually amazing the Borenstein is that close in RBI with Aplin having played 23 more games.
The last player to win a Triple Crown in the Cal League is Ruben Gonzalez who did so with the then San Bernardino Spirit in 1989. His numbers weren’t exactly overwhelming – a .308 batting average with 27 home runs and 101 RBI.
Borenstein also seems to have a legitimate shot at Cal League Player of the Year honors. He leads the league in slugging percentage (.649).
If nothing else, Borenstein has put himself on the Angels’ organization’s radar. He wasn’t listed in the top 30 prospects this year but it would be hard for Baseball America to leave him out next year given those numbers.