The Texas Rangers claimed Rafael Ortega off waivers from the Colorado Rockies yesterday (Nov 27) and added him to the 40 man roster. The 40 man roster now stands at 39.
September 30, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Colorado Rockies outfielder Rafael Ortega (47) is unable to catch a home run hit by Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp (27) in the fourth inning at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Jon Daniels has said this off season that they are looking for some outfielders, Ortega probably is not one of them. Ortega missed the last half of the season in 2013 after sustaining a fractured shin on June 20th. Also, he missed some time in 2013 due to a staph infection.
Ortega got his start with the Colorado Rockies back in 2012. After a season filled with injuries for the Rockies, they brought in the young 21 year old for his major league debut on September 30, 2012.
Ortega could barely believe he was being called up.
"“I couldn’t believe it,” Ortega said. “I have had to make a lot of phone calls.” (Troy Renck – Denver Post)"
According to scouting reports, Ortega has shown he has good contact, some power, speed and solid defense.
He’s been listed as one of the Colorado Rockies top 20 prospects. Also, in named as the Colorado Rockies top defensive minor league outfielder by Baseball America
"18) Rafael Ortega, OF, Grade C+: Didn’t wow with his stats in the Sally League, but has tools, some speed and power potential, good glove, still just 20. (John Sickels – Minor League Ball.com)"
Before his injury in June, Ortega was playing for the AA Tulsa Drillers. He mainly took the lead off spot and played in center field. For the 42 games he appeared in this season he batted a .228/.315/.297/.612 with, 4 doubles, 1 home run, 10 RBI and 9 stolen bases. This is substantially lower than the .283/.344/.410/.754, 23 doubles, 8 home runs, 60 RBI and 36 stolen bases he had over 114 games in 2012.
Overall, for his 6 seasons in the minors, Rafael Ortega has done quite well with a batting average of .298/.358/.416/.774 with 156 stolen bases.
To add to his scouting report, Baseball America ranked Rafael Ortega the fastest base runner for the Rockers in 2011 and the best defensive outfielder in 2011 and 2012. Baseball America ranked him with best outfielder arm in the California League in 2012.
The Texas Rangers hoping Ortega is able to bounce back and perform as he did before the 2013 season.
Currently, Ortega is playing winter ball in Venezuela for Tiburones de La Guaira. He has played in 30 games so far and has a batting average of .261/.323/.307/.630 with 2 stole bases.
This spring training Ortega could get a chance to make the roster. If he isn’t able to figure things out in winter ball, he could diminish his chances.