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Luis Ortiz earns promotion, excels in first full season start

Texas Ranger first rounder Luis Ortiz pitched three scoreless, no-hit innings in his first start in low-A ball

Rick Yeatts

Luis Ortiz, the 18 year old righthanded pitcher who was the Rangers' first round choice in the 2014 draft, started his pro career as most high school picks do -- playing in a rookie league, which in Ortiz's case was the complex league in Arizona.

Ortiz was impressive in the complex league, allowing just 3 runs in 13.1 innings over 6 games while striking out 15 batters and walking just 3.  He was so impressive, in fact, that the Rangers promoted him -- not to Spokane in the short-season A Northwest League, but to low-A Hickory, a two-level jump.

Ortiz made his debut for Hickory last night, and it couldn't have gone much better, as he threw three scoreless, hitless innings, with only two batters reaching base -- one on an error and one on a walk -- and two batters striking out.

Hickory actually took a no-hitter into the ninth inning against Kannapolis, and ultimately won the game, 2-1.

Ortiz pitching well in his debut is a good thing, but probably more promising is the fact that the Rangers thought enough of Ortiz to put him in a full season league just a couple of months after being drafted.  It isn't all that unusual for a college player to go to a full season league soon after being signed, but for a high school player, it is exceptionally rare.  The fact that the Rangers think highly enough of Ortiz's makeup and ability that they have assigned him to Hickory speaks volumes.