Local baseball standout flying up the ranks with Angels

Local baseball standout flying up the ranks with Angels
May 30, 2014, 5:30 pm
Share This Post
Chris Kamka

I was once an aspiring pharmacist. A lot of my baseball reading came in coffee shops prior to my work shifts, or during lunch breaks at the Walgreens at which I used to work. Customers would see me jetting back and forth from the break room with my latest baseball book. Some would even strike up a little baseball conversation. There was one man in particular who'd stop by regularly and talk about his son, who was having quite a bit of success at the high school level.

[RELATED - Tim Lincecum and finding a ‘Freak’ in the MLB draft]

Meanwhile, I kept reading, and eventually convinced myself that life battling insurance companies and trying to decipher the scribble on doctors' prescription pads wasn't for me.  

Soon enough, I was in broadcasting school. Still working at the pharmacy on the side, I was trading war stories of my internships at local radio & TV stations with the same customer I mentioned earlier, whose son went on to more success on the college diamond at Eastern Illinois. I was excited to hear that the young man even worked out for a few MLB teams. That was the last I heard. I was hired by Comcast SportsNet, and moved on from Walgreens after I was bumped up to full time.

This spring, as I was reading my annual copy of Baseball Prospectus, I came across a name. Turns out Zach Borenstein was drafted by the Angels in 2011, and was coming off a monster season at A ball in 2013, hitting .337/.403/.631 with 28 HR in 112 games at Inland Empire. Thursday, it became even more real when I pulled his baseball card out of a pack of 2014 Bowman.  

[MORE - White Sox benefit from Gordon Beckham's calm at plate]

I never met Zach, only his father, but it is exciting to see the baseball career of a local kid (Buffalo Grove High School) develop - the first BGHS product to reach the Majors since Josh Paul, who himself achieved a degree of notoriety in an Angels uniform (think Pierzynski, 2005).

Best of luck to Zach, who recently earned a promotion to Triple-A Salt Lake.

The White Sox visit the Angels in L.A. next weekend for a three-game series.