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Luis Ortiz Scouting Report

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Taking a look at Luis Ortiz, the #7 prospect in the LSB Offseason Community Prospect Rankings

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Luis Ortiz Scouting Report: Luis Ortiz ranked #7 on the LSB Community Prospect Rankings.

In the days leading up to Opening Day, I'm going to offer write-ups on the 30 players who made the Rangers' LSB Community Prospect Rankings Top 32 list, and who didn't get traded. I've done this the last couple of years, and I don't want to re-invent the wheel, so some of this will be a repeat of what I've written before, particularly regarding draft history or performance pre-2014. Also, this is not based on my personal observations -- I'm not a scout, and haven't seen most of these guys. I'm just aggregating the numbers and what others say about these players.

So, with that out of the way, let's take a look at Luis Ortiz...

Luis Ortiz is a 6'3", 220 lb. righthanded pitcher who was selected by the Rangers with their first overall pick (#30 overall) in the 2014 draft out of high school from Sanger, California.  Baseball America had Ortiz ranked #28 overall in their pre-draft rankings, and Keith Law had Ortiz at #10.  The general consensus is that Ortiz would have gone higher in the draft, had it not been for an injury that sidelined him for some of last spring.

Ortiz only had 20.1 IP in 9 games after signing with Texas, splitting that time between the Arizona Rookie League and the low-A Sally League, but he performed well in his limited action.  Ortiz had 19 ks against just 6 walks, putting up a 1.77 ERA.  Ortiz didn't get enough time in either league to place in the Baseball America league top 20 prospect lists, but got good reviews in both Arizona and in Hickory, and generally has been slotted in the 6-9 range in most Rangers top 10 lists I've seen.  Ortiz cracked Keith Law's top 100 list, coming in at #96.

Ortiz throws a low-90s fastball, a hard slider that is a potential plus pitch, and a changeup, which is, like most third pitches for high school pitchers, very much a work in progress.  Ortiz is considered a strike-thrower with a starter's build, and he's more refined than a lot of high school pitchers, so you could see him come more quickly than you would expect.  Law says Ortiz "looks like a future No. 2 starter," and thinks he could move up the lists significantly if he's healthy in 2015.

As far as 2015 goes, my guess is Ortiz starts the season in Hickory, though he may stay back in extended spring training and not join the Crawdads until May or June.  The Rangers have been willing to start their well-regarded high school draftees in low-A in their first full professional season, and I expect to see that with Ortiz this year.