When Julio Borbon Hits, The Texas Rangers Win Baseball Games | The Golden Sombrero Baseball Blog | MLB, Fantasy, College & High School Baseball News

When Julio Borbon Hits, The Texas Rangers Win Baseball Games

It should not come as a surprise to baseball fans that the Texas Rangers are currently sitting atop the American League West with 51-38 record, good for a 4.5 game lead over the Angels.  Thus far, they have consistently fired on all cylinders due to a perfect blend of youth and experience that can be compared to the 2008 Tampa Bay Rays.  Over the past two seasons, the Rangers have managed to climb out of the cellar within the A.L. West to emerge as a legitimate contender for the pennant.  Prior to the All-Star break, they made a crucial acquisition of the Mariners’ Cliff Lee with the hope of filling the team’s only void: experienced starting pitching.  With Cliff Lee, the Rangers now have a bona-fide ace who is one of the best competitors in all of baseball, and has a proven history of postseason success.  Yet, while Cliff Lee will presumably guide the Rangers to a division championship, his pitching alone will not be enough to make them contenders for the American League’s best record.

Rather, the key to their ultimate success lies in one of the few under-performers in their explosive offense.  Even though the Texas Rangers offense has been electric all season, thanks to spectacular performances from Josh Hamilton and Vlad Guerrero, there has been one player whose impact continues to be under appreciated.

Julio Borbon.

After an impressive rookie campaign where he hit .312/.376/.414, Borbon had a dismal start to the 2010 season which landed him on the bench and ignited the rumor that he might be sent down to the minors.  Considering that he was hitting .191/.214/.250 at the end of April, and .236/.252./.271 at the end of May, it was hard to understand why the Rangers organization refused to demote him.  After doing some research on the young speedster’s current season, I now understand why the Rangers were so intent on letting Borbon find his rhythm at the plate: when Julio Borbon hits, the Texas Rangers win baseball games.

After a torrid June in which the Rangers went 20-5, including a 11 game win-streak, Borbon saw his average climb to .282/.311/.366.  Considering the dramatic increase in Borbon’s production, it is no coincidence that the Rangers were arguable the best team in baseball during that time. With so much emphasis on Vlad, Michael Young, and Hamilton’s spectacular seasons, Borbon’s impact on the Rangers’ offense tends to be continually overlooked.  However, if we take a closer look at some of Borbon’s 2010 offensive stats and trends, it is evident that he continues to be crucial to the Rangers’ success this season and beyond.

Typically hitting 8th or 9th in the Rangers lineup, Ron Washington has used Borbon as a second leadoff hitter, a strategy that is employed by most American League teams, as well as Tony LaRussa.  As a second leadoff hitter, his primary goal is to be on base for when the lineup rolls over in either the 2nd or 3rd innings.  Headed into Thursday, Julio Borbon has had exactly 20 multi-hit games, most of which came during the Rangers’ eye-opening June.  Now, here is the why that I attribute the Rangers’ success to Borbon:

In those 20 games in which he has recorded multiple hits, the Rangers are 14-6 overall and have outscored their opponents 131-80.

Out of those 20 multi-hit games, he has scored 1 run in 12 of them.  In those 12 games, the Rangers are an impressive 10-2.

Similarly, Borbon has scored 2 runs in 4 of those 20 multi-hit games.  In those games the Rangers are 3-1.

There have also been 4 games where Borbon has had multiple hits but did not score a single run.  How do the Rangers fare in such games? 1-3

With Borbon finally performing at the level that he did during his rookie season, the Rangers are on pace for a postseason birth and must be viewed as a contender for the AL pennant.  He makes their offense even more complete than it already is, as he is one of the best bottom of the order guys across the game.  Look for Borbon to continually influence the success of the Texas Rangers during the second half of the 2010 season and beyond.

Comments are closed.