Tuesday, March 12, 2019

2019 Phillies Prospects Countdown: #6 OF Jhailyn Ortiz

Jhailyn Ortiz, image- Jay Floyd
The Phillies signed outfielder Jhailyn Ortiz, who was the top ranked international free agent, at the age of 16 in 2015 for a reported $4 million. Teams don't make that sort of investment or shell out the largest signing bonus for an international player in organization history without a boat load of high hopes. It seems the talented youngster is well on his way to living up to those expectations.

The powerful Dominican Republic native made his regular season pro debut as a member of the Rookie level Gulf Coast League Phillies in 2016. In 47 games there, Ortiz batted .231 with eight home runs, 27 RBI and eight stolen bases.

In 2017 Ortiz was with the short-season Class A Williamsport Crosscutters. He sported a .302 batting average with 15 doubles, a triple, eight homers and 30 RBI in 47 contests.  His .961 OPS would have been good enough to lead the league if he has notched enough plate appearances to qualify.

Last season with the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws, Ortiz, as a 19-year-old, sported a .225 batting average with 18 doubles, two triples, 13 homers and 47 RBI in 110 games.

In Ortiz’s first taste of a full-season league, a sluggish second half sandbagged his overall stats, as he notched a .258/.320/.399 slash line in the 1st half and a .202/.283/.360 slash line in the 2nd half.

Coaches think the righty batting Ortiz is a special talent with a very bright future. Lakewood’s hitting coach Tyler Henson told me after watching Ortiz play for more than five months in the South Atlantic League last year that, “For me, he's got more ability than anybody in this league.”

Working on plate discipline will be key for Ortiz, as he’ll need to reduce his strike outs. At roughly a 30% strike out rate in the minors, he has a lot of work ahead to improve in that aspect.  The Phillies expect Ortiz to develop a better understanding of how the opposition is trying to pitch to him and an improved ability to interpret the strike zone. Once he does, watch out!  Plus power is his claim to fame.  

The energetic Ortiz, who will be 20 years old for the entirety of the 2019 season, is a quality defender with a very strong arm. He has played strictly right field in the minors to date.

As a base runner, Ortiz will not be a regular stolen base threat, but he is quick-footed enough that he won't be a detriment to his club.

Listed at six-feet-three and 258 pounds, Ortiz is a hulking, strapping, young man that should continue to display plenty of power throughout the minors. Look for him to get some time with Class A Advanced Clearwater this coming season.

Be sure to track this year's complete Phillies top 25 prospects countdown by clicking this link.   

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