The St. Louis Cardinals have claimed a pretty interesting player off the waiver wire.
They've picked up Rafael Ortega, who has a career .298 batting average in the minor leagues, from the Texas Rangers organization.
Ortega, who is 22, made the jump from advanced Class A ball in 2012 to the major leagues where he had two hits in four at-bats. He had a sub par 2013 back in Class AA ball in 2013, hitting .228 in 158 at-bats before being shut down for the season with an injury.
The Texas Rangers claimed Ortega off waivers from the Rockies in November but then tried to slip him though waivers.
According to Baseball America, Ortega is a "true centerfielder" with a "plus arm" and "plus speed."
He's stolen 156 bases in the minor leagues in 217 tries. But the knock on Ortiz is that he likes to try to hit home runs -- despite the fact that he's never hit double digit round trippers in a single season.
Ortiz has a .358 on-base percentage in the minor leagues, although most of his stats have been accumulated at advanced Class A ball or lower. He needs to prove he can hit at higher levels of baseball, although he seems to have the tools that would allow him to do so.
The Cardinals have been making an obvious effort over the past two years to improve themselves up the middle with the addition of several shortstops through the draft and centerfielders Peter Bourjos and Randall Grichuk and second baseman Kolten Wong.