He was a man of just a few words today upon his return to the Orioles. But 24-year-old infielder Joey Ortiz is a top 100 prospect with loud tools, a lively bat and big arm on the left side of the infield, playing mostly at shortstop.
He was with the Orioles the first time from April 27-30 and went 1-for-3 with three RBIs in his MLB debut April 27 at Detroit. He was back with the club from May 14-26 and returned to the active roster today.
“Just happy to be here and be able to contribute. I feel good. Feel like I’m getting back into a rhythm after being out for a little bit. Getting back into the baseball rhythm,” said Ortiz.
After he was optioned out in late May, he went through an illness and didn’t play for several days on the farm before getting back on the field with Triple-A Norfolk June 8. Since then he is 9-for-25, batting .360 with an OPS of 1.145 for the Tides with two homers and four RBIs, hitting safely in all six games. He homered last night before getting to Baltimore today.
He seems to have knocked off the rust of not playing between May 25 and June 7.
“Definitely trying to get the pitcher’s rhythm and stuff like that, the timing. Usually only takes a few games and you feel good. As far as being sent up and down, you just have to be ready for whenever they call you," Ortiz said.
In 32 Triple-A games this season, Ortiz has hit .328/.373/.570/.943 with 10 doubles, three triples, five homers and 20 RBIs.
In 11 games with the Orioles, he is 7-for-27, batting .259 with an OPS of .546. But over his last five O’s games, he went 5-for-11 with a double, three runs and some loud contact.
“Yeah I definitely felt more comfortable,” he said. “It is definitely nice being around the guys. You know, definitely gets you more comfortable to help the team and contribute.”
Ortiz is ranked as the No. 72 prospect in the Baseball America top 100 and is No. 79 via MLBPipeline.com. Over 260 career minor league games, the club’s fourth-round pick in 2019 is batting .279/.352/.444/.796.
Players on the shuttle between Triple-A and Baltimore this year are going back and forth between a minor league team that is 44-19 (.698) and a MLB club that is 42-24 (.636).
“It’s good. You go from one winning environment to another. It’s similar. We are both winning and it’s great.
“They are playing great (here in Baltimore). I am just happy to be here and try and help get more wins," he said.
Ortiz was just one piece of several roster moves the club made today. First, they recalled him to replace catcher Mark Kolozsvary, who was optioned to Norfolk after one day on the O's roster yesterday. Later, pitcher Austin Voth went on the 15-day injured list with right elbow discomfort. The O's then added pitcher Reed Garrett from Triple-A, selecting his contract. And to make 40-man roster room for Garrett, they designated Kolozsvary for assignment.