In a year in which the Milwaukee Brewers vastly beefed up their minor league system, Brevard County Manatees pitcher, Jorge Ortega put together his best season as a professional. Coming off a career year, here is a look at why Ortega is not only our 28th best prospect in the Brewers’ system, but also why the 22-year-old pitcher may have a future in the major leagues.
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During parts of four minor league seasons, Ortega showed poise and control but his numbers were nothing spectacular. While he was able limit walks, he was still hit hard at times which raised his ERA numbers.
But this season, things clicked in High A Brevard County. Ortega wasn’t just good, he was great all year long. He finished the year going nine and nine with a Florida State league leading 2.41 ERA and six complete games. Perhaps the most amazing number of the season was that he walked just 11 batters in 141.2 innings of work (an average of 0.7 per nine innings).
He pitched so well this year that he was not only able to finish his season with the Colorado Springs Sky Sox in AAA, but he also saw time in the post season for the Biloxi Shuckers.
In all, Ortega has a 3.12 ERA in five years in the minor leagues. Next season, the expectation is that Ortega will begin the year at AA Biloxi. There he and several solid, former Manatee teammates should help Shuckers’ pitchers remain the best in the Southern League. The Brewers have pitching prospects all over the organization, but if Ortega can continue to command the zone the way he did this season, he could still find a way to work himself into the mix in Milwaukee.