Ortega has already made good on the Angels’ 10K investment in him as an amateur, as he has blossomed into one of the organization’s better pitching prospects in the last year. He was named to the California League All-Star Game after a strong first half in the Inland Empire rotation.
Undersized but athletic, the 6-foot Ortega has quick-twitch muscularity and a fast arm that dials the fastball up to 97 mph, even as a starter. It’s a lively ball with late ride through the zone, occasionally displaying some late run or slight cut. His best off-speed is a hammer low-80s curveball that flashes above-average now, with sharp, late action that falls off the table. Ortega shows lefties a changuep, but it’s less advanced than the rest of his arsenal and he’s likely to drop it in a relief role.
Ortega’s velocity and curveball stand out, though his lack of size, changeup, and below-average control point to a future in the ‘pen. He could be impactful there, though, with less pressure on limiting free passes and turning lineups over–all while likely seeing a slight uptick in stuff. The ceiling is at least a FV 40 big legaue reliever, and Ortega could be a bit more than that (7th inning reliever/setup man) if his control improves pitching short stints.