By Scott Barancik, editor

With one game left in the regular season, Zach Borenstein‘s numbers are stellar.

His .335 batting average is tops in the California League (Class A-advanced). He has 27 home runs, tying him for 1st place.  He leads the league in slugging percentage (.625) and OPS (1.026), and he ranks 3rd in on-base percentage (.401/tie).

Borenstein won’t win the triple crown this year. With 94 RBIs, the Los Angeles Angels prospect trails league leader Andrew Aplin by 10. If he hadn’t spent nearly a month on the disabled list with a strained hip flexor, the crown likely would have been his. Through Saturday’s games, Aplin had 589 plate appearances to Borenstein’s 456.

Nothing can take away from the 23-year-old left fielder’s remarkable year, however. A 23rd-round pick in the 2011 amateur draft, Borenstein hit a combined .268 with 13 HRs and 71 RBIs in 406 at-bats during his first two years as a pro. Decent, certainly, but no comparison to his breakout performance in 2013.

Prospect-rating services have struggled to catch up. At the beginning of the season, Borenstein wasn’t listed among MLB.com’s Top 20 Angels prospects nor Baseball America’s Top 30. By mid-season, MLB.com had pushed the Buffalo Grove, Ill., native up to the No. 15 slot.

“Borenstein has never been considered much of a prospect,” said MLB.com’s mid-season report. “But he has hit everywhere he’s gone, from college to the Minor Leagues, and his breakout season at Class A Advanced Inland Empire has been too much to ignore.”

At seven games under .500, the Inland Empire 66ers are not playoff bound. Borenstein won’t be idle this Fall, though; he’s one of two Jewish prospects selected to play in the prestigious Arizona Fall League, which commences Oct. 8. He and Oakland A’s prospect Jeff Urlaub, a relief pitcher, will play for the Mesa Solar Sox.

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