Zach Borenstein hopes to do some paying back for all the waiting he did Tuesday during the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
The two-time Daily Herald All-Area pick at Buffalo Grove and junior from Eastern Illinois thought he'd be getting an early draft call. Instead, Borenstein had to wait until well into the afternoon to be chosen in the 23rd round by the Los Angeles Angels.
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"Obviously I'm excited, it was an exciting moment for me to get the call," Borenstein said late Wednesday afternoon after finishing his Northwoods League game with Mankato (Minn.). "But I was informed previously I'd go in the top 10 rounds and I thought that's where I deserved to go.
"You have to play with a chip on your shoulder sometimes and I'm excited to get going with my pro career. I'll use it as motivation."
Borenstein does have the option of returning to Eastern Illinois for his senior year but said if he can get what he's looking for financially he'll sign with the Angels. If he does, he said he'd go to Arizona for a week of training before joining their short-season Class A team in Utah.
The left-handed hitting Borenstein was a first-team all-Ohio Valley Conference selection this season after hitting. 349 with 13 doubles, 7 homers and 29 RBI. He hit .353 with 11 homers, 13 doubles and 47 RBI as a sophomore and .394 with 5 homers and 28 RBI as a freshman.
He's also currently hitting .400 with 8 extra-base hits in 8 games in the wood-bat collegiate Northwoods League. Last summer in the Coastal Plains wood-bat collegiate league he led his team in homers, extra-base hits and RBI.
Borenstein said he was up early in the morning Tuesday and talking to a number of teams on the phone about how much money it would take for him to sign. And then the second day of the draft began.
"I was waiting by the phone and watching the draft on-line," Borenstein said. "It was a pretty frustrating few hours for me. But it was exciting when I got taken."
Borenstein played most of this season in the outfield after spending his sophomore season at third base. He's also played some first base and played shortstop in high school. Borenstein said his position changes weren't the result of Eastern just trying to find a way to get his bat in the lineup.
"If anything I thought my versatility would help out," Borenstein said. "I moved around because I could play certain positions."
Borenstein said the Angels are looking at him as an outfielder. While the Angels had shown interest since his high school days, Borenstein didn't think they were one of the top teams on his draft radar.
"You never know what will happen," Borenstein said. "Other teams pass on you that you think are going to take you so I guess I'm going to be an Angel."
And Borenstein hopes to bedevil the teams that passed him up in the draft.