Milwaukee Brewers: Prospect Luis Ortiz Pitching Well In Double-A
The Milwaukee Brewers have seen one highly touted pitching prospect struggle at Triple-A with Corbin Burnes. They’ve seen another one in Freddy Peralta perform well this season. But another prospect that’s been performing is Luis Ortiz.
Back in 2016, the Milwaukee Brewers acquired Luis Ortiz along with Lewis Brinson and Ryan Cordell from the Texas Rangers for Jonathan Lucroy and Jeremy Jeffress. In 2017, Cordell was sent to the White Sox for Anthony Swarzak, and a few days later, Jeffress was reacquired from Texas. And Texas sent Lucroy to Colorado.
This winter, Lewis Brinson was the headliner in the package sent to Miami for Christian Yelich. That makes Ortiz the only player that has stayed with the organization from the original trade two deadlines ago.
Ortiz has still yet to make it to Triple-A. Injuries have limited him from showing off his full potential. When he was acquired, Ortiz had the potential to become a No. 2 starter in the big leagues according to MLB.com. Scouts are bit down on the Brewers 4th ranked prospect after he only threw 94 innings last season, but he still has a future in the middle of a big league rotation.
He has a wicked fastball-slider combination. Coupled with his good command of the strike zone, if he can bring either his changeup or curveball to an above average pitch, he’ll move up the ladder.
How is Ortiz doing this year?
Ortiz has a 3.86 ERA on the year, but that may be misleading. Up until his last start, Ortiz had a 2.84 ERA this season. Last time out, he allowed six runs in four innings, which jumped his ERA a full run. But outside of that last start, he’s been great.
He’s only walked 14 batters this year and struck out 46 in 42 innings. Ortiz also has converted two save opportunities.
It appears Ortiz has been able to keep the ball on the ground more often this year. In his previous two seasons in the Milwaukee Brewers system, Ortiz has gotten more flyouts than groundouts. But this year, he’s reversed that ratio. Keeping balls on the ground will lend to more success at Miller Park because of the way the ball flies out of there.
Could Ortiz be promoted soon?
The problem with promoting Ortiz to Triple-A or the big leagues, is that there’s a logjam of starting pitchers at both levels. Triple-A already has Aaron Wilkerson, Bubba Derby, Brandon Woodruff, and Alec Asher in their rotation. Corbin Burnes is there as well but has struggled in the rotation and has made the move to the bullpen.
There could be a chance for Ortiz to move up to Colorado Springs in the near future. After all, he is a former first round pick and this is his third year in Double-A. At some point, you have to move him up and give him a chance to prove himself outside of Biloxi.
Perhaps the Milwaukee Brewers want to hold off on putting Ortiz in Colorado Springs because they’ve seen what it’s done to Corbin Burnes and what it did to Josh Hader a year ago. Maybe they don’t want another pitching prospect to get messed up because of the thin air in Colorado that has hurt good pitchers before.
The Brewers aren’t going to have their Triple-A affiliate in Colorado Springs after this season, because it is being converted to a rookie-level ball club. With the Crew on the search for a new Triple-A affiliate, hopefully at a lower altitude, he should get his chance in Triple-A next year at the absolute latest.
Ortiz is still only 22 years old. The Brewers will take it slow with him, and so far this year, it appears their patience will pay off.
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One of the few better performing Brewers prospects this season, Ortiz is putting himself in a good spot with the organization as long as he continues to stay healthy.