JEWISH BASEBALL NEWS — At least four Jewish players were among the 1,530 amateurs drafted last week by MLB teams.
Though the list is likely to grow — Jewish Sports Review typically publishes a more comprehensive tally in its July/August issue — we believe this preliminary list is the first published anywhere this season.
Two of the more interesting story lines in the 2011 draft involve P Lenny Linsky and SS Garrett Wittels. Linsky is noteworthy because he was a relatively high draft pick (2nd round, 89th overall); by comparison, of the 11 Jews selected in the 2010 draft, the highest pick was SS Jake Lemmerman (5th round, 172nd overall). Wittels — a rising senior at Florida International University whose 56-game hitting streak in 2010 drew national attention but was overshadowed by a subsequent arrest — is notable because he wasn’t drafted at all.
The four known draftees include:
Lenny Linsky (Tampa Bay Rays: 2nd round, 89th overall pick). A 6’2″ closer who just finished his junior year at the University of Hawaii, the Palos Verdes, Calif., native led his team with a 1.30 ERA and 14 saves, had a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 34/9, and gave up a total of just 3 extra-base hits in 34-and-two-thirds innings this season, all doubles. Baseball America described Linsky as “nearly unhittable” and had predicted he might be drafted even higher than he eventually was. (See local article on him.)
Zach Borenstein (Los Angeles Angels: 23rd round, 705th overall). A 6’0″ OF/3B who just completed his junior year at Eastern Illinois University, the Buffalo Grove, IL, native led his team in at least 10 offensive categories this season, including batting average (.349), on-base percentage (.419), slugging percentage (.554), average with runners in scoring position (.391), runs (38), doubles (13/tie), and stolen bases (9). In the first game of a double-header against Morehead State, Borenstein went 4/5 with 3 HRs and 6 RBIs.
David Colvin (Seattle Mariners: 27th round, 813rd overall pick). A 6’3″ starting pitcher who just completed his senior year at Pomona-Pitzer, the Mill Valley, Calif., native led his team with an 8-2 record and 5 complete games while posting a 2.96 ERA. He fanned 94 batters and walked 21. (See local article on him.)
Benny Sosnick (San Francisco Giants: 49th round, 1,497th pick). A 2011 graduate of the Jewish Community High School of the Bay, the 6’1″ Sosnick “primarily played pitcher, catcher and shortstop” but was drafted as a second baseman (see article). He led his team with a .583 batting average. The Giants reportedly will consider offering Sosnick a contract pending his performance in a summer league.
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