Pirates Prospects has learned that on Thursday, the Pittsburgh Pirates made their first international free agent signing since Junior Vizcaino took over the Director of International Scouting position left vacant by Rene Gayo's departure. They signed right-handed pitcher Jordy Ortega out of the Dominican Republic. Ortega turned 18 in October, so he has been eligible to sign since July 2, 2016.
Shortly before he was eligible to sign, Ortega competed in a tournament in Florida, where he was sitting 85-89 with his fastball, touching 90 MPH. He also had a low-70s breaking ball, which was either a curve or a slider depending on which scouting report you read. He's got a projectable frame listed at 6'2", 175 pounds, but as you can see in the video below, it's not the cleanest delivery. Some m...
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John was born in Kearny, NJ, hometown of the 2B for the Pirates 1909 World Championship team, Dots Miller. In fact they have some of the same relatives in common, so it was only natural for him to become a lifelong Pirates fan. Before joining Pirates Prospects in July 2010, John had written numerous articles on the history of baseball while also releasing his own book and co-authoring another on the history of the game. He writes a weekly article on Pirates history for the site, has already interviewed many of the current minor leaguers with many more on the way and follows the foreign minor league teams very closely for the site. John also provides in person game reports of the West Virginia Power and Altoona Curve.