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2021 Angels Player Review: Oliver Ortega

The Angels Top Prospect made a quick appearance this season, pitching only 9.1 innings in relief before being assigned elsewhere.

MLB: SEP 18 Athletics at Angels Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Oliver Ortega first joined the Halos in 2015 when he was signed to a minor league contract, but throughout the years, he made his way to the Angels 2021 Top Prospect list in the number 14th spot. However, his short stint in the bullpen this year lasted a quick 8 games, earning him a 4.82 ERA before he was assigned to the Tigres del Licey.

Ortega’s 2021 start on the 40-man roster began in September when his contract was selected from the Triple-A Salt Lake Bees. After he joined the team in Anaheim, his total season experience equated to a little over one complete game – 9.1 innings pitched throughout 8 games during the season.

It was a quick run for the reliever, as he earned a 1-0 record with the team. Before he joined the majors, he made his way through the farm system, progressively earning better ERAs with each team. In 2021, he played for the Rocket City Trash Pandas. His Double-A season saw him play 25 games, pitch 30.2 innings and secure a 6.16 ERA with a 2-3 record. Despite the high ERA, Ortega showed promise that landed him with the Triple-A team in July. As a Bee, he found more of a stride with a 3.75 ERA after 9 innings pitched, and by September, he was taking the field in a Halos uniform for his MLB debut.

2021 Stats

1 Win / 0 Losses / 4.82 ERA / 8 Games / 9.1 Innings Pitched / 4 Strikeouts / 2 Walks / 1.50 WHIP / .1 WAR / 12 Hits Allowed / 5 Runs Allowed / 1 Home Run Allowed

Best Performance of the Year

October 3 vs. Seattle Mariners: First Career MLB Win

In his last appearance of the season, Ortega earned his first MLB Career win after he pitched 1.1 innings in relief against the Mariners who were chasing postseason baseball at the time.

What to Expect in 2022:

The right handed reliever was assigned to the Tigres del Licey in October, so it looks like the top prospect won’t be back for spring training with the major league team. However, that doesn’t mean that fans should expect to never see him again. Historically, the cards are leaning in his favor for an eventual return to Anaheim.

He was first assigned to the Tigres del Licey in November 2020, but by May 2021, he was back in the Angels farm system with the Trash Pandas. It appears that the Angels are content to let Ortega hone his skills in the minors while they wait for the right time to pull him back to the Halos bullpen.

2021 Overall Grade: D