Love Letters From Pronk is an ongoing series where Pronk shares his love for somebody connected to the Cubs. Sometimes funny, sometimes weird, Pronk likes to make 100% sure people know that they are loved, and best expresses that through gushing letters. Today's pick: Rafael Ortega
Rafael Ortega is a 30 year old outfielder from Venezuela. He was signed by the Rockies as an international free agent way back in 2008. He then was with them until the winter following 2013. Since then, he made stops in the Rangers, Cardinals, Angels, Padres, Marlins, and Braves organizations. He's played 13 years of minor league baseball, spanning 1121 games and 4745 PAs. His reward? 208 games at the MLB level, as organizational depth.
This year, he's had more opportunities and capitalized on them. In nearly 200 PAs as a Cub, he's got an OPS over .850. After the Cubs unloaded at the deadline, he became the team's leadoff hitter, and has been amazing so far. He had a career day on August 1st, when he launched 3 home runs against the Nationals. What a special day for a dude who's hung tough.
Welcome to the Cubs. Congratulations on your hot streak. After bouncing around for a lot of different teams for a lot of years, it was such a thrill to see you have that big day on August 1st. That will be a memory you never forget, and it's an experience you earned. It was a huge thrill for a guy who comes out of nowhere to have a legendary day like that.
Then again, your performance this year hasn't been limited to just that one day. You are hitting over .300 on the season, which is impressive as your number of at bats continues to grow. This isn't some tiny sample size. At this point, you've been starting for two months, and continue to play well. I am really impressed.
I hope that you continue to grow into an every day big leaguer for the Cubs. It's been good having you around so far, so let the good times roll! Keep it up!