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California prep pitcher Ortiz to throw for scouts

MLB.com @JonathanMayo

When the spring started, Luis Ortiz was one of the most intriguing high school arms in the Draft class. He wasn't quite the top prep pitcher, but he wasn't far off and he has the kind of stuff where a strong spring could jump him up to the top part of the first round.

Instead, Ortiz has been on the shelf for the last few weeks, dealing with an injury that's been described as a forearm strain by the coaching staff at Sanger High School in Northern California. They've been very protective of Ortiz, not even letting scouts know about side sessions.

When the spring started, Luis Ortiz was one of the most intriguing high school arms in the Draft class. He wasn't quite the top prep pitcher, but he wasn't far off and he has the kind of stuff where a strong spring could jump him up to the top part of the first round.

Instead, Ortiz has been on the shelf for the last few weeks, dealing with an injury that's been described as a forearm strain by the coaching staff at Sanger High School in Northern California. They've been very protective of Ortiz, not even letting scouts know about side sessions.

It appears, though, that the shroud of secrecy is about to be lifted. Ortiz was initially slated to pitch on Friday, but he was moved back a bit. Now scouts around the country have Tuesday circled on their calendar so they can start evaluating Ortiz once again.

"We're a little anxious," one area scout said. "There will be a lot of people out there. We have to stay on him to see if the injury is more than [they say] it is."

The expectation is that Ortiz will throw somewhere around 75-80 pitches as he tries to shake off the rust. After the layoff, scouts will be looking more at his pure stuff than his command or results, knowing they can't expect to see all that in the young pitcher who was the MVP of the 18-and-under U.S. National Team over the summer right away. If Ortiz shows glimpses of his 92-95 mph fastball, his outstanding slider and his changeup, it should put him right back on the map. If he can continue to show he's healthy, there should be no perceivable hit to his Draft stock.

"You can't expect to miss three weeks and be right where he was," the area scout said. "We all know that. I'm not expecting too much.

"Guys who are projected to go this highly, even with an injury, someone will take him, kind of like with Lucas Giolito. It's an issue, but it's not that much of an issue. He's one of those Jose Fernandez type kids with ridiculous stuff."

Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLB.com and writes a blog, B3. Follow