Joey Ortiz by no means needed the defense-first label pinned to him. The delight that he took in his glove work was offset by the notion that his bat is perhaps a legal responsibility. Those groups must accept a light-hitting shortstop so as to profit from the runs saved.
A more frequent tradeoff a few years in the past.
Not one which Ortiz was snug hauling into the current.
The Orioles knew that they had been getting a plus defender within the fourth spherical of the 2019 draft out of New Mexico State. Ortiz knew that he may show scouts outdoors the group mistaken who considered him more as being a one-dimensional participant, and he did it this summer season.
Ortiz batted a mixed .284/.349/.477 with 35 doubles, six triples, 19 house runs and 85 RBIs in 600 plate appearances. He actually took off after his promotion to Triple-A Norfolk on Aug. 29, slashing .346/.400/.567 with seven doubles, two triples, 4 house runs and 14 RBIs in 26 video games.
The notion of him took a main hit, and it served as fairly the motivator.
“I’d be mendacity if I mentioned it did not,” he mentioned at this time in a video name with the native media.
“I get it, coming from the faculty I went to, it is a more hitter-friendly park, and I get that tag. But I positively needed folks to know coming into this 12 months I’m not solely glove-only. I would like folks to know I can hit and I can hit at a excessive stage. It was good for it to come back collectively this season and I’m nonetheless working to enhance my hitting on daily basis, and I’m happy with the place it is at proper now.”
Ortiz led the nation in hits in 2019 with 106 and in runs scored with 85. He was second in triples with 10, third in batting common at .422 and RBIs with 84, fourth in doubles with 25 and in complete bases with 175, and 19th in slugging share at .697. He batted .233/.313/.467 in 16 video games with Double-A Bowie in 2021 and underwent labrum surgical procedure, however the speak in regards to the imbalance between his offense and protection already began. As if faculty did not rely.
“When I received drafted it was the primary time that I heard form of, glove-only shortstop or glove-first, and it is all the time one thing to gas the hearth, form of a chip on the shoulder sort of factor,” he mentioned.
“Ever since I received drafted I needed to make it a level that I may hit, and hit with the professionals. I feel I’ve completed that.”
There had been no rising pains within the International League. The greater caliber of competitors did not deliver him down, which he credit to the boldness he constructed at Bowie after a sluggish begin.
“You begin to get going after which balls begin to fall in Double-A and then you definately transfer into Triple-A,” he mentioned. “I all the time wish to suppose the extent adjustments however the recreation would not change. It’s nonetheless the identical recreation, it is nonetheless baseball, so I simply go on the market and play the identical approach, and that is what it was.”
The Orioles made the anticipated transfer Tuesday and put Ortiz on the 40-man roster to guard him in subsequent month’s Rule 5 draft, to be held Dec. 7 on the Winter Meetings in San Diego. Although primarily a shortstop, with 101 begins this season, he additionally appeared in 26 video games at second base and began twice at third base with Bowie.
Ortiz might be ready for something when he stories to main league camp subsequent spring. To win the shortstop job, to reside for the opening at second base, to flash his versatility and maybe earn a roster spot primarily based on it.
“Before the entire 40-man factor, as far as the offseason and that stuff goes, I’m all the time making an attempt to compete and be prepared for the shortstop job within the large leagues, or simply wherever, at any place, as a result of I can play wherever,” he mentioned.
“I like to coach and simply suppose that, as quickly as I’m going to camp, I’m going to be able to earn myself a job.”
Ortiz’s expertise at second base as a skilled earlier than this 12 months consisted of 10 begins in 2021. The glut of shortstop prospects on the Bowie and Norfolk rosters this summer season led the Orioles to plan a plan to maneuver guys round with out stunting their improvement.
“I really feel very snug,” he mentioned. “I feel I can play any place on the infield as far as brief, third and second. But enjoying second base was snug, I assumed it was straightforward. I need to make it possible for folks know I can play any place and I’m not simply restricted to at least one spot.”
Ortiz is not trying to find more motivation, however there’s loads of it surrounding him within the system. He’s the No. 17 prospect per MLBPipeline.com, with a number of expertise forward of him, together with Gunnar Henderson at No. 1.
First-overall draft choose Jackson Holliday is ranked No. 3, organizational Minor League Player of the Year Jordan Westburg is fifth, power-hitting third baseman Coby Mayo is seventh, Connor Norby is 11thMax Wagner is 15thand Darell Hernaiz is 16th. César Prieto is true behind Ortiz at 18.
And that is simply the infielders.
Ortiz did not get a lot of a probability to be Henderson’s teammate at Norfolk. Henderson was promoted to the majors on Aug. 31
“You see guys that I performed with – Gunnar, Adley (Rutschman), Kyle (Stowers), Terrin (Vavra) – you see these guys go up there and play properly and compete at a excessive stage,” Ortiz mentioned, “and it positively provides me some positivity to know that after I get my probability and my alternative that I’ll be capable to do the identical factor.”
The offseason is dedicated to more than savoring his inclusion on the 40-man roster. Ortiz mentioned he desires to sharpen the instruments that he has, working on all the pieces to get higher – protection, power, hitting, velocity.
He desires all of it to come back into play.
“And I will not simply be a glove-first shortstop or restricted to at least one factor,” he mentioned. “I would like to have the ability to do all the pieces and be the very best participant that I can.”
But additionally perceive and embrace the repute he is constructed on protection. It is not a curse.
It’s the very first thing he talked about when requested what makes him particular and perhaps units him other than among the different infield prospects.
“I wish to take delight that my protection is, I’d say, above common, particularly at a place like shortstop,” he mentioned.
“You need to have the ability to make each single play that involves you, so I take delight in my protection. And my hitting is coming round, too, so I take delight in now being an all-around shortstop as a substitute of simply glove-only.”
Notes: The Orioles outrighted catcher Mark Kolozsvary to Triple-A Norfolk, decreasing their 40-man roster to 38 gamers. Rutschman is the one catcher. There was once six.
Major League Baseball awarded the 2024 All-Star Game to the Texas Rangers, who final hosted it in 1995 at The Ballpark in Arlington.
The 2024 occasion might be held on July 16 at Globe Life Field.
The 2023 All-Star Game might be performed at T-Mobile Park in Seattle. The Orioles have not hosted it since 1993.