It’s widely known that the Texas Rangers have coveted thy neighbor’s (Mariners) starting pitcher (Felix Hernandez) for many years. Well, after incalculable fruitless attempts to coax King Felix out of Seattle, the Rangers appear to be grooming a prince of their own. Luis Ortiz, the 30th pick in the 2014 draft, debuted on Wednesday for the Hickory Crawdads, Lo-A affiliate for the Texas Rangers, only weeks after being drafted.
Ortiz’s line: 3 innings, 0 hits, 0 runs, 2 strikeouts, and 1 walk. Ortiz’s fastball ran from 90-95mph and featured a devastating slider and an improving changeup.
What’s most impressive comes from @scottrlucas:
"Best as I can tell, Texas’s last high-school 1st-rounder to pitch in a full-season league during his draft year was Chad Hawkins, picked 39th overall in 2000."
Luis Ortiz is undoubtedly breathing rarified air, earning a promotion to a full season squad well ahead of schedule. Ortiz says he’s most excited to finally have a pitching coach, claiming he modeled himself after King Felix to correct and improve his mechanics.
Being the youngest pitcher in the South Atlantic (Lo-A) league and the second coming of King Felix, Ortiz has racked up the admirers.
"He has as good pure stuff as there is in the draft, and a strike-thrower to boot. Big velocity fastball with life. Out pitch power slider, repeatable delivery, and a big-time competitor. We didn’t expect him to be there for us, but we’re really happy he was. – Texas Rangers GM Jon Daniels"
Oh, and by the way, the Rangers were awarded the 30th pick in this year’s draft as compensation from the Orioles for the departure of Nelson Cruz.
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So, in three years when Luis Ortiz holds down a rotation spot for the next six, think about all that time you spent haranguing Jon Daniels about not re-signing Nelson Cruz in a lost season.
Jon Daniels is a genius and Luis Ortiz is a king in the making. Huzzah!