Should Toronto Target Julio Borbon?
Alex Anthopoulos has been a very busy guy this off-season. He has upgraded positions that many fans felt didn’t need upgrading. Alex has yet to address the Blue Jays outfield situation. It is still unclear who will man Left and Centre. If Alex is unable to sign/acquire two outfielders before opening day the most likely candidates are Dalton Pompey in CF and Kevin Pillar in LF.
Could it be possible for Anthopoulos to find a diamond in the rough somewhere in the Minor League Free Agent pool?
Julio Borbon moved quickly through the Rangers farm system, eventually making his major league debute two years after being drafted. Julio would play in over 200+ major league games between 2009 and 2011 before spending al of 2012 back in the minors. He would reappear with the Chicago Cubs in 2013, a very unsuccessful reappearance. Is it possible that Julio Borbon could resurrect his career as the Toronto Blue Jays starting left fielder in 2015?
Julio spent 2014 as a member of the Norfolk Tides, the Triple-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles.
The knock on Borbon is his lack of arm strength and lack of polish in the field. He also doesn’t make enough consistent contact or have much power to speak of, but sure can run. Sound familiar? Sound like a guy that was just traded to the Detroit Tigers for a promising second baseman? Surprisingly, Julio just doesn’t hit many doubles or triples and essentially is a singles hitter. A guy with Borbon’s speed should be able to turn singles into doubles and doubles into triples. He only hit 9 doubles in 2014, but had 116 singles.
Julio Borbon would be a solid option to compete for the Blue Jays vacant LF position. As a member of the Rangers in 2010, Borbon appeared in 137 games hitting .276/.309/.340 with 15 stolen bases. If by some miracle, Borbon could somehow repeat this type of season, in this new lineup, than Borbon would be a very valuable addition. It appears that Borbon has started to utilize his speed to steal more base, as he stole a career high 34 with Norfolk.
If Melky Cabrera were to re-sign with Toronto, than Borbon would be a very good 4th outfielder, one that had a decent .332 BABIP,7.4 BB% and 14.3 K%. Sounds like an upgrade over Anthony Gose and would be welcome addition to the Jays bench. Pompey would also require some time off and Borbon has the tools to spell him for short stints.
The real question, Is Borbon a better option than Kevin Pillar?