However, the Dodgers were surprised and delighted with his leadership ability, despite having turned 18 years old during the season. Early on he collected a game-winning, pinch-hit homer but he would only connect once more over his 50-game season.
He has a smooth lefthanded swing that reminds many of first rounder Franklin Stubbs at the plate. And the kid knows where he is going and how to get there.
"I have to learn to hit curve balls and hit to all fields," he acknowledges. Like many young players with power he is a dead-pull hitter and his recognition of breaking pitches is a work in progress.
As to be expected, pitchers solved him rather than the other way around. What he obviously needs is a lot of work.
In 2007 he blossomed at Ogden, boosting his average to .274 and slugging 11 home runs in 59 games. Oritz put his name on a number of the Dodgers short season lists, finishing second in the Dodger system in home runs (11), fourth in games (59), fifth in on-base plus slugging (.809) and runs batted in (35), and sixth in slugging (.437) and hits (62).
His development was very encouraging and if the improvement continues, he will be on the fast track. He will probably play for Great Lakes in 2008 with a shot at Inland Empire later in the season.
year team ave obp gm ab r h 2b 3b hr bi sb 2006 GCL .232 .310 50 181 21 42 5 1 2 22 1 2007 Ogden .274 .333 59 226 30 62 10 1 11 35 0