The Mets have signed Zach Borenstein, a 27-year-old lefthanded-hitting outfielder, to a minor-league contract with an invitation to major league spring training.
Borenstein is a career minor leaguer, having been drafted (in the 23rd round) by the Angels and traded to the Diamondbacks. The Illinois native and former college player for Eastern Illinois has been an all-star in Class A and AA leagues. He was the California League’s Most Valuable Player in 2013 but never has played in the majors.
At Reno in the Pacific Coast League this past season, he appeared in 122 games, batting .279 with a .924 OPS and 24 home runs and 91 RBIs. Borenstein drew some inadvertent YouTube attention in July when he was chasing a deep fly hit by Dodgers prospect Alex Verdugo. As he approached the fence, the ball sailed over his glove, off the top of his head and over the fence for a home run.
Borenstein was the starting rightfielder for Israel in the 2017 World Baseball Classic. He had a single that put his team ahead in a stunning 4-1 upset over Cuba.