Billings Loses in 14 Innings

Ortiz Was 17th Round Selection Last Year

Jose Ortiz can't be found on any lists of top Reds prospects or even top catching prospects. That is not because he hasn't shown that he knows how to handle a bat. While playing part time in two Rookie League seasons he's cracked the .300 AVG/.400 OB%/.550 SLG levels.

Billings lost a three-run lead in the ninth at Great Falls and then lost the game 5-4 in fourteen innings. The Mustangs took an early lead from a two-run home run by Jose Ortiz in the second inning. He struck again in the fifth with a single that set up Gabriel Rosa who scored on a groundout. Jonathan Reynoso added some insurance when he led off the ninth with a double, advanced on a wild pitch, and scored on a groundout. Ortiz finished with three hits and a walk while Rosa reached twice from a hit and a walk.

Austin Salter started out on the mound and held the Voyagers to one run on six hits/one walk over the first five innings. Scott Brattvelt relieved him with three scoreless frames. Robert Lewis-Walker threw two scoreless frames in extra innings before Nolan Becker allowed the game-winner for the loss.

Ortiz doesn't get a lot of attention, or much playing time for that matter. One thing that generally happens when he does get into the lineup is that he hits. Yesterday's game lifted his average up to .305 and on-base percentage to .370. He's also hit six homers in 23 games this season to boost his slugging percentage to .585. In 2012 he slashed a line of .359 AVG/.469 OB/.538 SLG in 13 games in the Arizona League.

He stands 5'11"/205#, bats right-handed, and came into the Cincinnati organization out of Juano Colon High School after the Reds drafted him in the 17th round in 2012. He's now in the Pioneer League at the age of 19 and though he's splitting time behind the plate, he's gotten more than half of the action. His stats at the plate are more impressive than they are behind it as he's been charged with eight errors in 32 games while throwing out only 24% of opposing base stealers this year. That percentage has gone up from 16% he gunned down in his first season and the way he handles the bat should provide further opportunity to improve defensively at the position.

Though there's not a lot of playing time upon which to judge this prospect he's still a teenager and there's a lot to like about his offense thus far. There aren't a lot of high-profile catchers in the pipeline above him opening his way for advancement if he's able to sustain it. Cincinnati, like many other organizations, isn't bashful about trying to tap into Caribbean talent and Ortiz may turn out to be a sleeper in last year's draft.

Other Organizational News:

The Reds snapped a five game losing streak with a 4-1 win at San Diego. Brandon Phillips plated the first run of the game with a solo homer in the second. Cincinnati widened its lead in the seventh on back-to-back two-run hits from Chris Heisey and Joey Votto. Phillips led his team with three hits while Heisey and Zach Cozart added two apiece. Homer Bailey had another strong outing. He pitched into the ninth and allowed only one unearned run on six hits and no walks while striking out seven. Aroldis Chapman retired the only two batters he faced for the save.

Louisville made up for Tuesday's rainout by splitting a doubleheader against visiting Syracuse with a 3-1 loss and a 3-0 win. The Bats were held to three hits in the first game with two coming from Billy Hamilton who provided their only run by leading off the sixth inning with a home run. Jonathan Broxton got a rehab start and danced around three hits for one scoreless inning. Kevin Whelan relieved him and allowed two runs in one inning for the loss. Daniel Corcino had a nice outing, allowing one run on three hits in five innings while striking out four without a walk.

Yohan Pino did not allow a run while pitching into sixth inning and picked up the win in the second game. He held the Chiefs to only three hits and a walk. Jose Diaz retired four of the five batters he faced for the save. Kristopher Negron broke a scoreless tie when he led off the fifth inning with a homer. Felix Perez provided insurance in the next frame by doubling in a run and scoring on a groundout.

Pensacola allowed a run in the eighth in their 4-3 home loss to Mobile. Corey Wimberly, Yorman Rodriguez, and Donald Lutz each had two of the Wahoos' nine hits while Tucker Barnhart drove in two with a single in the sixth. Josh Smith got no decision for throwing five-plus innings and allowing three runs on six hits/two walks while striking out eight. Parker Frazier was charged with a run after pitching less than one inning for the loss.

Bakersfield allowed five runs in the fourth inning in their 6-3 loss to visiting Modesto. Juan Silverio led the way offensively with two hits including a solo homer in the third. Steve Selsky and Danny Vicioso also added two hits apiece. Vicioso also drove in a run and raised his average to .320 since coming to Bakersfield from Pensacola. Jake Johnson was victimized by errors and took the loss for allowing five runs in four innings, but only one of them was earned.

Dayton was shut out in a 5-0 loss to visiting Bowling Green. Phil Ervin had two hits in his second single A game. Amir Garrett took the start and was lifted in the fifth inning for the loss. He allowed four runs on six hits/three walks.

The AZL Reds took a brief lead after scoring three runs in the fourth, but they allowed four in the bottom of the inning en route to a 10-3 loss to the AZL Dodgers. The Reds were limited to four hits including a two-run homer by Jose Fernandez. Starter Franderlyn Romero took the loss for allowing five runs in three innings pitched.

The DSL Reds were idle and will open up August against the DSL Diamondbacks.

The DSL Rojos allowed two runs in the ninth and lost 5-4 to the DSL Orioles2 in ten innings. Carlos Mateo had two hits for the Rojos. Jose Salas had a nice start, allowing only one run on five hits/two walks over five innings. Hernando Guzman pitched the final two innings and allowed a run which cost him a blown save and the loss.

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