MLB.com Dodgers Top 30 Prospect: Robinson Ortiz

Robinson Ortiz during Spring Training 2020 - Photo Credit: Tim Rogers/Dodgers Nation

Robinson Ortiz is a 21-year-old Left Handed pitching prospect in the Dodger’s organization from the Dominican Republic.  Ortiz signed at the end of the 2016-2017 International period, made his debut in 2018 in rookie ball, spent 2019 in Low A Great Lakes, then threw just 11.4 innings in 2021 in High A before going on the DL for the remainder of the season due to forearm issues.  Ortiz was clocked from 94-97 in live B.P. work before the 2021 season and features a 3 pitch mix of fastball, changeup, and what I consider to be a “slurve.”

Breaking Down Ortiz

Ortiz’s most consistent pitch is his “arm side” fastball both to righties and lefties.

When Ortiz hits the “glove side” corner with his fastball he gets a good amount of run and sink on the pitch which makes it a really good pitch to left-handers.

When he needs a strikeout he can climb the zone with it and get above the modern-day uppercut.

The thing that jumps out is how easy his arm action is, but how much it jumps out of his hand and how quickly his ball gets on hitters as you can see by the swing in the video.  This “easy power” as I call it, makes his changeup a really good pitch off of his fastball because the arm action is identical.  As a result, hitters have a hard time recognizing the pitch, and when you have to gear up for 94-97, the difference in speeds between the fastball and changeup makes timing very difficult.

Ortiz likes to throw his changeup to right-handers and his “slurve” to left-handers.  His slurve has a ton of sharp break and really has the chance to be a wipeout pitch to left-handers.  When Ortiz throws it to the inside corner to a lefty it’s really a knee buckler.

Just to put into perspective how tough of a pitch that is to lefties, look at how far behind the hitter this pitch is before it starts breaking.

Robinson also throws his “slurve” to right-handers and, because it has so much break, it is a great “back door” pitch.

When he throws this pitch to the “glove side corner, it sweeps across the entire plate and makes it extremely difficult for the hitter to determine whether or not the pitch will end up as a strike.

This pitch has so much movement to it, that, even when Ortiz splits the plate with it, it still buckles left-handed hitters.  Watch how the hitter buckles in this video on a pitch that ends up down the middle of the plate.

 

Wrap Up

Ortiz was picked up at a very young age, and so, although he has been in professional baseball since 2018, he is still only 21 years old.  He didn’t spend 2020 at the Alternate site or Instructional League like other Minor League prospects did then had the injury early in 2021, so, at this point, projections are very difficult.  2022 will be a big year for him to show that he has recovered with the same “stuff” he had before his injury which was a 94-97 mph fastball, a slurve, and good changeup.  He was with High A Great Lakes to start 2021, so it will interesting to see where he starts 2022 and how quickly and how far he rises up the Minor League ranks.

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