Joey Ortiz Makes his Debut for the Baltimore Orioles

Yesterday’s contest between the Baltimore Orioles and the Detroit Tigers marked the debut of shortstop prospect Joey Ortiz. His promotion marks the second debut made by an Orioles’ top 100 prospect following the emergence of RHP Grayson Rodriguez. The 24-year-old Ortiz started at 2B, where he has played extensively in the minors.

Ortiz has always been seen as a glove-first SS, and questions surrounding his bat have been raised since he was drafted in 2019. However, in 2022 Ortiz seemed to have a breakthrough at the plate, slashing .284/.349/.477 in his time between AA Bowie and AAA Norfolk. Even more impressive were his batting stats in Norfolk alone, where he averaged .349/.400/.567 while hitting four homers in just 26 games.

In his first AB in the Majors Ortiz hit a line drive to left but was robbed of a base hit by a diving Akil Baddoo. In his second plate appearance however, he delivered a chopper to the right of the infield that drove in two runs as he reached base safely. His final AB of the day was a sac fly to left-centerfield that brought home Adam Frazier. He was perfect at 2B while fielding – recording no errors and helping to turn a double play. His efforts were rewarded with a 7-4 comeback victory over the Tigers.

Ortiz is the first of many exciting infield prospects to make it to the show. Unfortunately, there seems to be a bit of a logjam at the major league ball club. In order to even make space for Ortiz, the Orioles had to option Terrin Vavra to Norfolk, and it seems that difficult decisions may need to be made about players like Ramon Urias, Adam Frazier, and even the red-hot Jorge Mateo. If the O’s do choose to stick with the current infield options however, they may consider trading some of the talented infielders currently waiting in the Minors. Jordan Westburg, Connor Norby, and Coby Mayo have all shown immense potential for the Orioles’ minor league affiliates, but they could serve as an enticing prospect package for pitching help.

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Tatiana Bird

I love talking, writing, and arguing about the O's. Follow me on twitter @TheNotoriousTGB

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