Guess what position Jhailyn Ortiz played the last three games when he hit five homers and drove in 11 runs in Jersey Shore’s three game weekend sweep in Winston Salem NC? If you said center field you were right!
Ortiz has been on fire with the bat with 13 home runs in his last 24 games including 12 dingers in 22 games so far in July. For the season has 18 home runs.
Jersey Shore still has four games left to play before this month ends on Friday. Yes, all the home runs by Ortiz have been great, but I like even more the fact that he played all three games over the weekend in center field.
Jhailyn has played most of his five years in his Phillies minor league career in right field but that is the position where Bryce Harper plays. Bryce is under contract for ten more years.
The Phillies need a center fielder sooner than later. The list of failed candidates who have played in center field this season for them is too long to list. They all have been found wanting in one way or another. Ortiz showed over the weekend he will be the answer in center even if he is only now playing in High A.
So far this season, Ortiz has played 66 games in the outfield including 41 games in right, 4 games in left and 21 games in center. He has been charged with only one error for a .972 fielding percent in center, higher than his .946 fielding percent in right field which has been his normal position in the Phillies system.
We hope the Phillies minor league department has finally realized that Jhailyn Ortiz can be the Phillies eventual answer in center field. He is only baseball age 22 years old and will only get better considering the limited time he has played in center.
This weekend Ortiz showed, what we already knew, that he can hit the ball out of any park. Just as important though, he also showed he can be the Phillies eventual answer in center field.
To top it all off, Jhailyn Ortiz was just named the High-A East Player of the Week, you can read the article about him HERE.