BALTIMORE – For the second time in two seasons, a former New Mexico State baseball star has received the call to the Major Leagues.
The Baltimore Orioles added infielder Joey Ortiz to the active roster on Thursday morning, the club announced. Ortiz will wear No. 65 and his first appearance will be his Major League Baseball debut.
Later on in the day, Ortiz was penned into the starting lineup for first game of the Orioles four-game series against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park, where Ortiz had a fantastic first outing.
Batting ninth and playing second base, Ortiz went 1-3 with three RBI in his MLB debut. His first Major League hit was a two-RBI single in the fifth inning that sparked the Orioles to a comeback. He also had a sacrifice fly in the seventh inning.
Ortiz became the first Orioles player with three or more RBI in their MLB debut since Don Baylor in 1970.
The No. 7 prospect in Baltimore’s farm system, Ortiz joins his former NM State teammate, Kyle Bradish, with the Orioles. Both Ortiz and Bradish played for the Aggies in 2017 and 2018.
In 16 games with Triple-A Norfolk this season, Ortiz is hitting .359 with eight RBI and seven extra-base hits. Earlier this season, Ortiz put together a stretch of four consecutive three-hit games against Nashville and Rochester.
When Ortiz makes his Major League debut, he will become the seventh player in NM State history to play in the big leagues. Other former Aggies that have made it to Major League Baseball include Mark Acre, Daniel Johnson, Jason Rakers, Fernando Ramsey, and Tyler Sturdevant.
The former standout NMSU shortstop was a fourth-round pick of the Orioles (108th overall) in the 2019 MLB Draft. At the time, Ortiz was highest draft pick in the history of the NMSU baseball program.
Baltimore will begin a ten-game road swing on Friday evening. The Orioles will face Detroit for four games before traveling to Kansas City and Atlanta. Friday’s game against the Tigers will begin at 4:40 p.m. MT.