After batting .219 to go with two homers and 16 RBIs through May 12, Bobby Borchering knew he needed to make a change at the plate. So he got together with Visalia hitting coach Jacob Cruz and D-backs hitting coordinator Alan Cockrell to develop a plan that would, hopefully, produce better results.
"I switched my stride up from a toe tap to more of a leg kick," Borchering said. "It makes it a lot easier for me to see the ball coming out of the pitcher's hand and I'm able to follow it a little better coming toward the plate."
The effectiveness of that change was never more evident than Saturday night.
The D-backs' No. 11 prospect launched two-run homers in each of his first two at-bats as the Class A Advanced Rawhide posted a 6-1 victory over Stockton.
By going 2-for-4 in the rubber game of a three-game series, Borchering is 9-for-14 with four homers and eight RBIs over his last four contests. That stretch has hiked his batting average 14 points to .282 and launched him into a three-way tie for second place in the California League with 18 lonbgalls. The outfielder/designated hitter also is third in the 10-team circuit with 60 RBIs.
Borchering batted .323 with 11 homers and 25 RBIs in 26 games in June. That's a stark contrast to April, when he hit .245 with two homers and 10 RBIs in 24 games.
But Saturday night was noteworthy for another reason. Both of Borchering's homers came off Stockton southpaw Ian Krol, who allowed all six runs on nine hits over five innings. Entering Saturday night, the 2009 first-round Draft pick was batting just .232 (16-for-69) with three homers against left-handed pitchers this season. Compare that to a .293 mark and 13 homers in 225 at-bats against righties.
The Florida native chalked up the discrepancy to a similar difference in experience.
"I just haven't seen many lefties this season," said Borchering, whose average against southpaws jumped to .247. "I think I only saw four of them in a month at one point. But I've been seeing more and more here lately, and that's just helping me get used to batting against them again."
Speaking of left-handers, Andrew Chafin -- Arizona's No. 12 prospect -- struck out seven and gave up three hits and a walk over five shutout innings to improve to 4-4. With 104 strikeouts on the season, the Kent State product leads the Cal League and ranks fifth among all Minor Leaguers.
"He's got a great competitive nature," Borchering said. "It's always fun to see the stern look on his face that he gives when he's coming off the mound after each inning. He's a great guy to play behind."
Josh Whitaker was a lone bright spot for the Ports with a solo homer and a double.