June 29, 2009
Former Tennessee baseball All-America performer Julio Borbon was called up to the Major Leagues by the Texas Rangers Monday. A standout centerfielder for the Volunteers from 2005-07, Borbon was drafted 35th overall by the Rangers in the 2007 MLB Draft and has been starring this summer for the Class AAA Oklahoma City Redhawks of the Pacific Coast League.
"This is a very important day for me and my family," Borbon said. "It is so exciting and satisfying to see my dream come true. To think that just two years ago I was at Tennessee and now I'm experiencing this lifelong dream--it's hard to describe how I'm feeling right now. I owe thanks to so many people for helping to guide me along the way."
Through 71 games with the Redhawks this season, Borbon was batting .298 with 90 hits, 53 runs scored, 28 RBI and two home runs. The 22-year-old reached base at a .365 clip and was successful on 19 of 23 stolen-base attempts.
Borbon ranked sixth in the PCL in hits, tied for sixth in triples (5), eighth in runs, tied for ninth in stolen bases and was 25th in batting average.
Texas Rangers Director of Player Development Scott Servais had an opportunity to personally evaluate Borbon and other Texas prospects during a visit to Oklahoma City last week. After being notified of his promotion, Borbon flew to Dallas on Monday and is unsure of when he'll see his first action with the Rangers.
"I'll be ready whenever they need me," Borbon said.
With Borbon's promotion, there are now 10 former Vols presently suiting up in Major League Baseball. He becomes the 35th Vol ever to play in the Majors and the third player from UT's 2005 NCAA College World Series team to reach the big leagues (joining Luke Hochevar and Chase Headley).
"This is more great news for our program here at Tennessee," UT head coach Todd Raleigh said. "Julio's last season (at UT) was the year before I got here. But from the first time I met him I could tell he was going to be successful and that he was a great representative for the University of Tennessee. We'll all be keeping up with how he does in Texas."