In last night’s game against Lakeland, the difference maker was Jailyn Ortiz. The Clearwater Threshers were being no-hit for six innings by the Flying Tigers starting pitcher and trailing 4-0. Ortiz, the Threshers designated hitter, hit a three-run homer to make it 4-3. The Threshers would go on and win in 11 innings, 7-6.
Ortiz is only 20-years-old but he is in his fourth season in the Phillies system after signing as a $4 million, international free agent out of the Dominican Republic. Last night he showed potential but his home run power has been rare this season.
In the just concluded four game series with Lakeland, he took the golden sombrero in the first game, Monday night. Then he came back and hit his second and third homers of the season in the final two games of the series. Last night, he put a lot of “threes” in the scorebook: he struck out three times, scored three runs and hit his three-run game changing homer. Ortiz’s real problem has been another “three”-namely “strike three” this season. He has struck out 42 time in 94 at bats. He is not getting any better making contact. In his last ten games, he has struck out 20 times in 35 at bats and while going 5 for 35 including the two homers.
Ortiz’s career is on the brink. After missing the start of the season with hamstring problems, he has played a solid right field. Read HERE. Since then, in 24 games in right, he has committed no errors and has six assists. He has made great strikes in the field but not yet enough with the bat.
He needs to hit more long balls as he did with his first homer of the season back on April 19th, watch HERE and as he has done with his second and third homers of the season his last two games.
Ortiz needs to put the ball into play more often than only the 15 times in 35 at bats as he has done in his last ten games. That will not get the job done even with a couple of long balls included. We can only hope that Ortiz has turned the corner, makes more contact and goes deep more often. He is a game changer when he does!