More accolades for Atlanta Braves prospects are piling up. This time it's a guy who we may be hearing more buzz about in the coming months, left-handed starting pitcher Jose Ortegano. He was named the Southern League Player of the Week, here is the snippet from the press release:
Since joining the M-Braves on July 28, Ortegano has three wins in his first three Double-A starts and has allowed just two earned runs in 20 innings. In two starts last week, the 22-year-old lefty struck out 15 in 13 innings and surrendered only one earned run. On August 3 against Montgomery, Ortegano struck out seven batters and yielded just four singles in six scoreless innings. He turned in another stellar performance on August 9 at Huntsville, and allowed one earned run on eight hits through seven innings. He struck out eight more batters, and now has 21 strikeouts and three walks in 20 Double-A innings. The native of Maracaibo, Venezuela was signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2003.
The M-Braves press release also adds this:
Ortegano made the jump to AA Mississippi on July 28th and has impressed in each outing since. On his way to a 3-0 record, Ortegano has given up one earned run or less in each of his three starts - all quality outings. He's got an ERA of 0.90 and has fanned 21 while walking only three. The lefty has held left-handed batters to a .067 average.
Overall he's holding batters to a .230 average against, which is also pretty darn good. He wasn't this good at Myrtle Beach, though he wasn't terrible by any means. A 3.49 ERA and a 59/19 K/BB in 69.2 innings pitched. Maybe he's drinking whatever Jason Heyward is drinking as Ortegano's vast improvement coincides with his promotion to a higher level -- including the toughest jump in minor league baseball, from A-ball to double-A.
It is certainly good to see one of our young pitchers make that leap to double-A and conquer it at the same time. We've got so many guys in our system that could emerge in this same exact or similar fashion over the next few years -- it's going to be an exciting time to keep up with Braves prospects.
Ortegano's next start is this Friday.