Friday, January 27, 2012

Round 41: Bryce Ortega, 3B, University of Arizona

(from AP/Eric Kayne via My San Antonio)

Arizona Bio                                                                                                                Baseball-Reference
MiLB                                                                                                                                        FanGraphs

2011 Stats
2011 22 Auburn NYPL A- WSN 56 227 194 43 61 15 0 0 21 23 2 29 34 .314 .410 .392 .801 76 7 3 0 1 0
1 Season 56 227 194 43 61 15 0 0 21 23 2 29 34 .314 .410 .392 .801 76 7 3 0 1 0
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 1/26/2012.

Sean's one sentence analysis:
Ortega played 2B and SS at Arizona, and looks like a better option in the middle infield where power is not as necessary.

Thoughts from the community:
"Ortega played 3B and 2B for Arizona in his senior season, but SS for Auburn last summer, leading the Doubledays in BA, OBP, and SBs. Given the predicted Potomac IF logjam, put your bets on Hagerstown for the OB (Other Bryce) in '12." - Luke Erickson, Nationals Prospects (@nats_prospects)

"Bryce Ortega was a senior sign from the University of Arizona, where he was a career .326 hitter with 6 home runs while playing shortstop early in his career before shifting to third base and second base as a senior. A solid 4-year collegiate player lacking power or an above-average tool besides his speed, Ortega is likely destined to a career as an organizational player." - Ryan Sullivan, Nats GM (@natsgmdotcom)

Previous analysis and notes: 
This is one of my favorite picks in the draft as long as Ortega can play 2B rather than 3B. Ortega looked like an solid prospect going into the 2010 season but got injured. He bounced back in 2011, hitting .353/.412/.430. If he can continue to get on base, Ortega will be a solid infielder in the Nats organization. He doesn't have prototypical power for a 3B (only 6 HR in 4 seasons at Arizona), but has solid on-base skills and speed (25/29 in stolen bases). His plate discipline slipped a little in 2011, with 20 BB and 30 K (72 BB and 70 K in his previous 3 seasons), but were still pretty good.

From Ryan Finley, Arizona Daily Star, 2/19/11: "The past, present and future of the Arizona Wildcats' baseball program can be summed up in one sentence. It's all in how you pronounce it.
The reason for the UA's struggles in 2010? Bryce Ortega's back.
Why Arizona should be even better in 2011: Bryce Ortega's back."

From Rob Ozga, Baseball Draft Report, 3/26/10: "Ortega put up very consistent numbers in his first two full seasons at Arizona, but has taken a step backwards in the power department in the early going of 2010. As a matter of fact, he’s the only one of the four players listed who has experienced a decline in his performance so far in 2010. The most commonly cited reason for Ortega’s early season struggles relate back to his transition from shortstop (a position he is more than capable of playing, for the record) to second base; not sure I buy it, but it’s a thought. Strong base running and good patience have long been the bedrocks of his offensive game, so it’s good to see those areas remain consistent despite his 2010 contact and power deficiencies. Patience at the plate, a two-year track record of pop (2010 be damned), excellent base running instincts, and a versatile glove fit the potential utility infielder mold pretty well, don’t you think?"

Ortega signed with the Nationals on June 16, 2011.

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