Jhailyn Ortiz was your selection as the #15 prospect in the Phillies’ organization. Ortiz received 104 of 322 votes (32%) to achieve a plurality victory over Adonis Medina who received 66 votes (21%). Mark Appel (36 votes) and Ben Lively (34 votes) each finished with 11% of the vote.
Jhailyn Ortiz was signed as an international free agent out of the Dominican Republic on July 10, 2015 at the age of sixteen. He attended Fall Instructs that year but was not added to a roster until the 2016 GCL season. Regardless, based on the wording in the CBA in effect at the time, he will be eligible for the Rule 5 draft during the 5th Winter Meetings following his contract signing date – therefore December, 2019.
I first saw Jhailyn Ortiz at the 2015 Instructs. He was still 16 at the time and this was my first impression, “Jhailyn Ortiz. First time I got to see him in person. Yeah, he is a big kid. But that’s an important qualifier. He’s just a kid. He reminds me of the big kid in a group who gets the “big” nick name. In my day, that nick name was “Bear”. Ortiz is that big. But, he looks like the staff can burn some of the baby fat off and sculpt the rest into muscle. It was reassuring to see how far he could hit the ball with his easy swing. It’s a swing that is not as vicious as Alfaro’s, and his contact isn’t as loud. But, after the coaches tear it down and build it back up, he could start to exhibit the power Luis Encarnacion is beginning to show.” (Note that Alfaro was hitting bombs during BP and that Encarnacion still showed promise.)
Ortiz first professional hit was a line drive single to left. It was hard hit, a legitimate line drive. However, his first real pro hit didn’t come until the 2016 GCL season.
Early on, Ortiz displayed a patience at the plate beyond his years. In the 5 games I remember reporting on he had 4-5 walks and at least 2 strike outs.
I described his approach as follows, “Jhailyn Ortiz had 4 at bats as a DH today. He went 1 for 2 with a walk and was hit by a pitch. This was the first time I’ve seen him, here’s what I saw. He has a slightly open stance in the batter’s box. His front foot is flat on the ground, and looks like it is pointed toward the pitcher. It doesn’t look comfortable. Doesn’t matter, I guess, since he toe taps into position as he steps toward the pitch. Here it looks like his heel is slightly off the ground, but he generates a hard swing with little apparent effort. His single was a legitimate line drive to left. His hands are in good position, within the frame of his body and not too high as I would have expected from a 16-year old. He has a little bat waggle above his shoulder, but that quiets down when his hands “lock” into position just before the pitch.
“I was impressed with Ortiz’ patient at bats. He didn’t chase, shoot he worked a walk. I’ve become accustomed to young players hacking at first pitches. He showed a more mature discipline than I expected.”
In the 2016 GCL season, Ortiz posted a .231/.325/.434/.758 slash with 8 HR, the most by a Phillie in the GCL since 21-year old Vladimir De Los Santos hit 10 in 2008. Vlad was out of baseball after a 3-HR Lakewood campaign in 2009.
Ortiz walked 17 times (8.6 BB/9) and struck out 53 times (26.9 K/9). He started off hitting well in June (just 5 games though) and although his average dropped in July he had his most productive month. He really tailed off in August. Maybe he tired after doing baseball activities for six days a week since April. Or, maybe he just saw more off speed pitches.
His splits are a little severe. He hit much better at home (.307/.384/.534/.918) than he did away (.153/.265/.329/.595). He hit the few LHP he saw (40 AB, .350/.409/.775/1.184) better than the RHP (.195/.301/.331/.631).
Ortiz plays an acceptable right field. He covers ground laterally better than he does coming in for a ball. He appears to have a strong arm. He hasn’t had many opportunities to show it but judging by the way he throws balls back into the infielders, he’s just chomping at the bit to show it off.
He also shows an adeptness on the base paths that was unexpected for a man of his size – 8 steals in 10 attempts.
Two of his home runs on Ashburn Field one-hopped into the half-field in front of Spectrum Field (formerly Bright House Field).
Ortiz is an incredibly interesting prospect to watch. I look forward to watching him during spring training.
Next up is your selection for the #16 prospect in the organization.
Poll to date –
- J.P. Crawford
- Jorge Alfaro
- Mickey Moniak
- Roman Quinn
- Nick Williams
- Franklyn Kilome
- Sixto Sanchez
- Rhys Hoskins
- Dylan Cozens
- “C” Randolph
- Scott Kingery
- Kevin Gowdy
- Harold Arauz
- Andrew Knapp
- Jhailyn Ortiz