The Braves announced a series of non-roster invitees to Major League Spring Training today, with outfielder Rafael Ortega representing a yet-unreported addition to the organization. Other previously reported minor league signings confirmed by the Braves today include outfielder Ryan LaMarre (link), infielder Andres Blanco (link) and infielder Pedro Florimon (link).
Ortega, 27, appeared in 41 games with the Marlins in 2018 and hit .233/.287/.271 with three doubles, a triple and five steals in 143 plate appearances. He’s seen action in parts of three MLB seasons (2012 with the Rockies and 2016 with the Halos serving as the other two) and is a career .236/.291/.286 hitter in 352 Major League trips to the plate. While he spent his time in Miami playing both outfield corners, the bulk of Ortega’s professional experience in the outfield has come in center.
Ortega will give the Braves some left-handed-hitting outfield depth and seems likely to be ticketed for Triple-A Gwinnett early in the year. He’s a lifetime .299/.368/.423 hitter in 1666 Triple-A PAs (spread out over the course of five seasons) and has gone 71-for-93 (76 percent) in stolen-base attempts at that level. His big league experience is obviously limited, but he’s drawn average or better defensive ratings on the whole in 707 innings.