It’s been an incredibly run for Luis Ortiz, who went from Opening Day starter for the Bradenton Marauders in 2021 to making his major league debut on Tuesday. The righty was brilliant in his MLB debut, pitching 5 1/3 innings of no-hit baseball, striking out five and walking three.
With an upper 90s fastball, Ortiz was lighting up the radar gun like a Christmas tree, posting some eye popping velocity readings. It also made it an interesting game to open up the statcast sheet and see what kind of numbers he put up, and to no surprise there was some interesting takeaways.
— Ortiz threw 53 fastballs Tuesday night, averaged 99 mph and topped triple-digits six times. He also threw the 53 hardest pitches in the entire game, on both sides, all of which were those fastballs.
— While there was obvious attention being immediately drawn to his fastball, his slider was maybe his best pitch on the night. Of the 12 swings on sliders, he generated whiffs on half of them. All total, 44% of his sliders thrown were either whiffs or called strikes. It showed great rotation as well, with a spin rate of just under 2500 rpm.
–While the velocity makes it more likely to get some misses, he only picked up three on 24 swings, which goes back to something Tim Williams mentioned about Ortiz’s fastballs in a previous report. Over a longer stretch, continually throwing 100 mph increases your odds of getting misses, Ortiz did struggle with his fastball control in the later innings, so he may have to dial it back to keep it in the strike zone.
Minor League Notes
— Liover Peguero has hits in five straight, and six of eight in the month of September. Some of the offensive numbers haven’t been pretty this year, and the errors have been a problem but Peguero remains young for the league he’s playing in and has shown some positive signs in the second half (decrease in strikeouts, walks up slightly).
One thing that goes lost on Peguero sometimes is his speed, or at least his ability on the base paths. He added two more stolen bases on Tuesday, giving him 25 on the season and now has 53 over the past two years.
— I talked about the journey that Ortiz he had been on since the beginning of last year, but how about the road Matt Eckelman traveled this season? Started the year in the Indianapolis bullpen, where things didn’t go well (7.67 ERA in 31 2/3 IP), went to Greensboro to start throwing a knuckleball and is now in the Altoona rotation.
He has a 2.45 ERA in 11 innings since joining the Curve, and threw five frames of one-run ball on Tuesday in the team’s win.
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Pirates Prospects Daily Articles
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- Pirates Prospects Player of the Week: Blake Sabol
- P2Daily: Previewing This Week’s Pirates Minor League Opponents
ALTOONA CURVE PITCHERS
By Anthony Murphy
ALTOONA CURVE HITTERS
By Tim Williams
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