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Jerry_Manuel
02-24-2002, 12:14 PM
By your friend and mine Joe Cowley:

Few who witnessed it will forget what Joe Borchard did on field No. 5 in batting practice last spring.
"Parking lot, cars, the street ... balls were reaching places where no one else has reached out there," former White Sox hitting coach Von Joshua said of the hitting clinic Borchard put on that day in Tucson. "And I mean no one. It was special."

"Special" isn't a new description for the 6-foot-5, 220-pound Borchard. As a matter of fact, it isn't even the strongest adjective that's been used to describe the Sox's outfield prospect. It ranks somewhere behind "the next Mark McGwire" and "can't miss."

Good thing there isn't much Borchard concerns himself with these days. Countless players in his shoes have talked about the pressure associated with having been a first-round pick, and then crumbled under it.

Borchard is worried about cutting down on his strikeouts and figuring out the new satellite radio system he just had installed in his ride in that order.

"You're not doing yourself justice by saying, 'This is what I could have done or should be doing,' " Borchard said Friday. "I'm not trying to avoid being a 'target.' There are people who are going to compare me to this guy or that guy, or speculate this and that. I just let others discuss it."

That they have. Ever since Borchard signed for the richest bonus in Sox history, inking a $5.3 million deal after being selected with the 12th overall pick in the 2000 draft, he has been under a microscope.

Not only because of the amount of the deal, but because he turned his back on the quarterback job at Stanford and perhaps an eventual shot at the NFL.

The largest bonus the Sox had handed out to a drafted player before was $1.75 million to pitcher Jason Stumm in 1999.

"He has the ability to be a lot of things," director of player development Bob Fontaine said of Borchard. "When you look for true power, true speed, it's difficult to find. He has both of those, and add that to the position he plays. Many haven't seen a switch-hitting power guy who plays (center field). But like anything else, time will tell all."

That's why Fontaine doesn't want to get into the fortune-telling business.

"There's no reason to compare him to anybody," Fontaine continued. "Maybe someday they'll compare players to him. I'm a firm believer in not making comparisons or timetables."

But it wasn't just coincidence that the Sox signed free-agent center fielder Kenny Lofton to only a one-year deal.

After spending the 2001 season at Double-A Birmingham, the 22-year-old Borchard seems to be on the fast track to the South Side for the 2003 season.

All he did in Birmingham last year his first full season of playing only baseball was hit .295 with 27 homers and 98 RBI. He hit .302 with 21 homers against right-handers and .275 with six homers against southpaws. His 98 RBI led the pitching-strong Southern League, while he finished second in homers.

The knock on Borchard stemmed from his 158 strikeouts in 515 at-bats.

"Strikeouts are going to happen when you try and hit the ball out of the park," Borchard said. "There's definitely a few things I need to work on, but there were also a lot of good pitchers in the Southern League. Sometimes you just have to say, 'He beat me.' "

But Borchard won't be beaten because of a lack of preparation. His work ethic is second to none, as he usually arrives at the park first and leaves last. And while there's an offseason for most players, that word isn't in Borchard's vocabulary.

He went straight from the minor leagues to the Arizona Fall League last year. When that ended, he was in the gym and batting cages every day. He also worked out with a speed coach three days a week for the second straight winter.

"Anytime you have a player compete at the level that he did in two sports, his makeup is going to be so important to him, both physically and mentally," Fontaine said. "You look back 15 years ago, the exposure a first-round pick got was nothing compared to now. He's handled all of it exceptionally well.

"He goes out of his way to do things that he doesn't have to do, and it comes natural for him. It's not forced."

Sox manager Jerry Manuel has already said it's unlikely Borchard will break camp on the major league roster, and Borchard seems resigned to that fact.

"I'm just trying to get better," he said. "I'm not putting an arrival date on anything. I just want to be the best that I can be, and the rest will take care of itself."

Until then, Borchard listens to what scouts say and reads what reporters write, taking it all with a grain of salt.

"If people want to make comparisons or say I'm the next Mark McGwire, I guess it's a compliment," Borchard added. "But look at it from the other side. I haven't done anything to speak of yet, so how could they compare it to a guy who's done so much?"

Fontaine is right about one thing: Time will tell all.

awesomefan
02-24-2002, 02:19 PM
Thanks for some more info on Joe Borchard. Even better than I've ever heard before kinda stuff.

I met Joe Borchard at the Sox Fest Family Party & he was mingling with the fans and signing autographs & getting his picture taken with fans as if he was enjoying the whole thing.

Sounds like Joe has a good chance of being a Good Guy for a long time.

CubKilla
02-24-2002, 02:26 PM
The article gives evidence to the belief amongst many on WSI that the reason Singleton was traded and Lofton only signed to a one-year deal is to give Borchard the CF position for Opening Day 2003. Hope he's going to be all he's cracked up to be.

RichH55
02-24-2002, 04:26 PM
Originally posted by CubsF'nBlow
The article gives evidence to the belief amongst many on WSI that the reason Singleton was traded and Lofton only signed to a one-year deal is to give Borchard the CF position for Opening Day 2003. Hope he's going to be all he's cracked up to be. He is simply LTP....I get more excited about him everyday

Cubbiesuck13
02-24-2002, 04:30 PM
lets hope he doesnt get traded away for a washedup pitcher. :muddy

RichH55
02-24-2002, 04:33 PM
Originally posted by Cubbiesuck13
lets hope he doesnt get traded away for a washedup pitcher. :muddy I think I am missing the reference...just a slow start to a Sunday for me?

Cubbiesuck13
02-24-2002, 04:41 PM
Sorry no link between Waters and a washed up pitcher. I just like Muddy Waters. No el duque photo

voodoochile
02-24-2002, 05:38 PM
Originally posted by RichH55
I think I am missing the reference...just a slow start to a Sunday for me?

"Borchard's a MAN!
I spell man
M-A-N
MAN!"

Mannish Boy
-Muddy Waters

RedPinStripes
02-24-2002, 08:07 PM
Originally posted by Cubbiesuck13
lets hope he doesnt get traded away for a washedup pitcher. :muddy

Won't happen.


:reinsy
5 million! That's not pennies!

Nellie_Fox
02-25-2002, 12:47 AM
Just a note of restraint folks. Ron Kittle put up big minor league numbers. He also hit huge home runs (one he hit in Milwaukee that was still rising when it cleared the light towers in left is forever burned in my memory.) But Big Mac he was not. (Before you light into me, a bigger Kittie fan there never was.)

voodoochile
02-25-2002, 01:32 AM
Originally posted by Nellie_Fox
Just a note of restraint folks. Ron Kittle put up big minor league numbers. He also hit huge home runs (one he hit in Milwaukee that was still rising when it cleared the light towers in left is forever burned in my memory.) But Big Mac he was not. (Before you light into me, a bigger Kittie fan there never was.)

Borchard has many more tools than Kittle did though. The kid hits for average and draws walks. He also has decent speed and is considered a defensive asset. He's not just a lamp post looking for a space to play

RedPinStripes
02-25-2002, 02:57 AM
Originally posted by voodoochile


Borchard has many more tools than Kittle did though. The kid hits for average and draws walks. He also has decent speed and is considered a defensive asset. He's not just a lamp post looking for a space to play

Kittle in LF was kind of funny at times. You think Carols Lee is bad? Kittle was aweful. Too bad the Sox had like 3 dhs' on that team. He should have stayed on the bench.

RedPinStripes
02-25-2002, 02:58 AM
Don't get me wrong. Kittle was my favorite player on the Sox during the winning ugly season. He was just bad in the field.

RichH55
02-25-2002, 03:57 AM
Originally posted by RedPinStripes
Don't get me wrong. Kittle was my favorite player on the Sox during the winning ugly season. He was just bad in the field.


Couldn't have been any worse than when Pasqua was tried at 1B

Vsahajpal
02-25-2002, 04:36 AM
Originally posted by Jerry_Manuel
By your friend and mine Joe Cowley:

Few who witnessed it will forget what Joe Borchard did on field No. 5 in batting practice last spring.
"Parking lot, cars, the street ... balls were reaching places where no one else has reached out there," former White Sox hitting coach Von Joshua said of the hitting clinic Borchard put on that day in Tucson. "And I mean no one. It was special."

"Special" isn't a new description for the 6-foot-5, 220-pound Borchard. As a matter of fact, it isn't even the strongest adjective that's been used to describe the Sox's outfield prospect. It ranks somewhere behind "the next Mark McGwire" and "can't miss."

Good thing there isn't much Borchard concerns himself with these days. Countless players in his shoes have talked about the pressure associated with having been a first-round pick, and then crumbled under it.

Borchard is worried about cutting down on his strikeouts and figuring out the new satellite radio system he just had installed in his ride in that order.

"You're not doing yourself justice by saying, 'This is what I could have done or should be doing,' " Borchard said Friday. "I'm not trying to avoid being a 'target.' There are people who are going to compare me to this guy or that guy, or speculate this and that. I just let others discuss it."

That they have. Ever since Borchard signed for the richest bonus in Sox history, inking a $5.3 million deal after being selected with the 12th overall pick in the 2000 draft, he has been under a microscope.

Not only because of the amount of the deal, but because he turned his back on the quarterback job at Stanford and perhaps an eventual shot at the NFL.

The largest bonus the Sox had handed out to a drafted player before was $1.75 million to pitcher Jason Stumm in 1999.

"He has the ability to be a lot of things," director of player development Bob Fontaine said of Borchard. "When you look for true power, true speed, it's difficult to find. He has both of those, and add that to the position he plays. Many haven't seen a switch-hitting power guy who plays (center field). But like anything else, time will tell all."

That's why Fontaine doesn't want to get into the fortune-telling business.

"There's no reason to compare him to anybody," Fontaine continued. "Maybe someday they'll compare players to him. I'm a firm believer in not making comparisons or timetables."

But it wasn't just coincidence that the Sox signed free-agent center fielder Kenny Lofton to only a one-year deal.

After spending the 2001 season at Double-A Birmingham, the 22-year-old Borchard seems to be on the fast track to the South Side for the 2003 season.

All he did in Birmingham last year his first full season of playing only baseball was hit .295 with 27 homers and 98 RBI. He hit .302 with 21 homers against right-handers and .275 with six homers against southpaws. His 98 RBI led the pitching-strong Southern League, while he finished second in homers.

The knock on Borchard stemmed from his 158 strikeouts in 515 at-bats.

"Strikeouts are going to happen when you try and hit the ball out of the park," Borchard said. "There's definitely a few things I need to work on, but there were also a lot of good pitchers in the Southern League. Sometimes you just have to say, 'He beat me.' "

But Borchard won't be beaten because of a lack of preparation. His work ethic is second to none, as he usually arrives at the park first and leaves last. And while there's an offseason for most players, that word isn't in Borchard's vocabulary.

He went straight from the minor leagues to the Arizona Fall League last year. When that ended, he was in the gym and batting cages every day. He also worked out with a speed coach three days a week for the second straight winter.

"Anytime you have a player compete at the level that he did in two sports, his makeup is going to be so important to him, both physically and mentally," Fontaine said. "You look back 15 years ago, the exposure a first-round pick got was nothing compared to now. He's handled all of it exceptionally well.

"He goes out of his way to do things that he doesn't have to do, and it comes natural for him. It's not forced."

Sox manager Jerry Manuel has already said it's unlikely Borchard will break camp on the major league roster, and Borchard seems resigned to that fact.

"I'm just trying to get better," he said. "I'm not putting an arrival date on anything. I just want to be the best that I can be, and the rest will take care of itself."

Until then, Borchard listens to what scouts say and reads what reporters write, taking it all with a grain of salt.

"If people want to make comparisons or say I'm the next Mark McGwire, I guess it's a compliment," Borchard added. "But look at it from the other side. I haven't done anything to speak of yet, so how could they compare it to a guy who's done so much?"

Fontaine is right about one thing: Time will tell all.

What!? My word isn't as good as Joe Cowley's?

:?:

kermittheefrog
02-25-2002, 04:54 AM
Originally posted by Vsahajpal


What!? My word isn't as good as Joe Cowley's?

:?:

Get used to it Vic. You can tell them as much as you want about a guy but it takes Joe Cowley or Phil Rogers for him to be taken seriously :-P

RedPinStripes
02-25-2002, 07:13 AM
Originally posted by RichH55



Couldn't have been any worse than when Pasqua was tried at 1B

That's because Pasqa was always stoned. Wonder if he still mail orders his pot?

LongDistanceFan
02-25-2002, 07:30 AM
Originally posted by RedPinStripes


Kittle in LF was kind of funny at times. You think Carols Lee is bad? Kittle was aweful. Too bad the Sox had like 3 dhs' on that team. He should have stayed on the bench. dave kingman was even worst than that

LongDistanceFan
02-25-2002, 07:31 AM
Originally posted by Vsahajpal


What!? My word isn't as good as Joe Cowley's?

:?: ahh don't worry, i follow yours and randar opinion. you guys are the first i will ask anyway...........

Jerry_Manuel
02-25-2002, 07:49 AM
Originally posted by Vsahajpal
What!? My word isn't as good as Joe Cowley's?


It's not what it looks like Vic, I swear! :smile:

Meatpants
02-25-2002, 11:52 AM
Originally posted by RichH55



Couldn't have been any worse than when Pasqua was tried at 1B

Please, any ill-fated outfield experiments begin and end with

Carlton Fisk in LF

Steve Sax in RF

Cubbiesuck13
02-25-2002, 12:08 PM
steve sax, wow i almost forgot about that. What a horrible horrible washed up yankee.

Pasqua was my fav. mediocre player, he could do it all, but only verry verry average to below average. haha

RedPinStripes
02-25-2002, 12:31 PM
Pasqua was one of the coolest players i ever met. I was about 14 when I met him in 90. He never turned down an auto graph for a kid.

CubKilla
02-25-2002, 12:51 PM
Originally posted by Meatpants


Please, any ill-fated outfield experiments begin and end with

Carlton Fisk in LF

Steve Sax in RF

Beat me to it MEATPANTS. How can anyone forget the Carlton Fisk experiment in LF? The catch where Steve Sax flopped on the ground, threw his glove up, and the ball miraculously glided in is the one play Steve Sax made for the Sox that is burned into my mind. I think he was in LF for that game though. And I think is was in Milwaukee's County Stadium.

RedPinStripes
02-25-2002, 01:11 PM
Originally posted by CubsF'nBlow


Beat me to it MEATPANTS. How can anyone forget the Carlton Fisk experiment in LF? The catch where Steve Sax flopped on the ground, threw his glove up, and the ball miraculously glided in is the one play Steve Sax made for the Sox that is burned into my mind. I think he was in LF for that game though. And I think is was in Milwaukee's County Stadium.


:hawk
"That Joel Skinner was one hell of a catcher. Fisk had to step aside for him. And I am an *******!

foulkesfan11
02-25-2002, 09:24 PM
BORCHARD RULES!@!

Pete_SSAC
02-25-2002, 11:03 PM
Everyone forgets the true hitting powerhouse on this team.

I honor him with my sig....

- Pete

bjmarte
02-26-2002, 01:30 AM
Originally posted by Pete_SSAC
Everyone forgets the true hitting powerhouse on this team.

I honor him with my sig....

- Pete

Thank God for the DH!

Pete_SSAC
02-26-2002, 06:00 PM
Talk about ironic.

I picked up High Heat 2003 for PS2 today, and played a night game at the Urninal. Parque at his first at bat hit a double, and hit a single at his third at bat...

All worsihp...