posted 5/16/12 12:19 PM PST
by Marc Hefferan
*MLBDepthCharts.com considers any player not on a team's 40-man roster, in AAA, or ranked as a top 10 prospect by Baseball America or top 11 prospect by Baseball Prospectus before the 2012 season as an 'under the radar' player.
Under the Radar Minor League NL Hitting Performance of the Week
OF Rafael Ortega, Hi-A Modesto (COL)
season stats: .355 BA, HR, 12 RBI, 4 2B, 4 3B, 8 BB, 19 K, 7 SB in 25 games (HiA)
May 9-May 15: 14-for-29, HR, 2 2B, 3 3B, 4 RBI
My Colorado Rockies “Breakout Player of the Year” for 2011, Ortega has taken his extreme focus, high octane game motor, superior speed and gutsy defense all the way to the top of the Rockies' minor league outfield heap as my choice for UTR Hitter of the Week. The 21 year-old had 14 hits in the last week, highlighted by three consecutive three-hit games. He also tripled in each of those three games. Currently the 3rd in the Cal League, Ortega has gone hitless in only 4 games this season. He also collected 19 hits during a 10-game hit streak that spanned from April 22nd to May 3rd.
After being signed out of El Tigre, Venezuela as a 16 year old in 2008, Ortega’s first three seasons with the Dominican Summer League and Pioneer League’s Casper saw a combined slash line of .320/.387/.420; yet questions began to mount whether the 160 pounder could sustain this level of performance in his first taste of full-season ball. With a promotion to Lo-A Asheville in 2011, he silenced his critics batting .294 with nine home runs, 66 RBI and 32 stolen bases in 113 games while playing above average defense. Ortega is a work-in-progress but scouts say that Ortega displays the developing bat, blazing speed, defense and above average arm to become the prototypical lead-off hitter the Rockies may soon need. Sure, the Cal League may inflate statistics to a certain level, but Ortega has made a career of playing with massive authority and so far has proven worthy of consideration for a promotion to Double-A Tulsa before 2012 comes to a close.
1B Darin Ruf, Double-A Reading (PHI): .370 BA, 6 HR, 28 RBI, 9 2B, 14 BB, 24 K, 2 SB in 37 games; 9-for-25, 2 HR, 2 2B, 11 RBI in last week.
OF Corey Dickerson, Hi-A Modesto (COL): .363 BA, 7 HR, 34 RBI, 16 2B, 4 3 3B, 16 BB, 25 K, 4 SB in 39 games; 10-for-26, 3 HR, 3 2B, 7 RBI in last week.
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UTR Minor League NL Pitching Performance of the Week
Under the Radar 2012 Archive