Meet Lynn’s Major League Prospect: Deniel Ortiz’s Baseball Career Is Soaring High

If hitting a baseball is a science, Deniel Ortiz is Albert Einstein. If hitting a baseball is an art, Deniel Ortiz is Pablo Picasso.

The 19-year-old Ortiz’s local coach and mentor, Julio Henriquez, owner of The Dugout, a baseball training facility on Linden Street, said he has proudly watched Ortiz’s amazing development from a 14-year-old high school freshman player to his status as a rising junior college superstar.

Lynn’s Deniel Ortiz has been attracting the attention of Major
League Baseball League teams after a sensation season in the Walters State Community College baseball program.

“When you see Deniel’s immense talent and get to know him personally, he’s the definition of a baseball player,” said Henriquez. “You can tell that he was made to play the game of baseball.”

Indeed, in a recent public workout at The Dugout, Ortiz, who is 6-feet-2 and 225 pounds, crushed each pitch at will, unleashing technically sound, ferocious swings in the style of Dodgers star Mookie Betts.

Ortiz, who played baseball at Lynn Classical and St. Mary’s before transferring to Redan High School in Georgia, is set to begin his second season at Walters State Community College in Tennessee.

It’s what Ortiz accomplished in his first year at Walters State and in his summer season in the Appalachian League that has Major League Baseball scouts taking notice. At Walters, who competes in the Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA), Ortiz was a team leader in average (.383) home runs (16) and runs batted in (55) in 59 games.

Last summer, Ortiz, representing the Kingsport (Tennessee) Axmen, won the Appalachian League Home Run Derby, drawing much media attention from area newspapers and television stations who covered the competition.

One of his home runs during the season was a tape-measure job, landing an estimated 450 feet from home plate.

Early Years in Puerto Rico

Deniel Ortiz grew up in Puerto Rico, where he played Little League baseball. He moved to Lynn with his mother when he was 12 years old. He enrolled as an eighth grader at the new Marshall Middle School, excelling as an infielder for the Marshall fall baseball team. He also played in the Lynn Babe Ruth organization.

He became a starting player and hit .300 as a freshman at Lynn Classical under Coach Mike Zukowski. He transferred to St. Mary’s and played for the Spartans as a junior (his sophomore season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic) for three-time state championship coach Derek Dana.

Ortiz continued his baseball career that summer for the Ohio Warhawks before spending his senior year at Redan High School. Ortiz tore it up for the Redan Raiders, batting .630 with a league-high eight home runs.

He committed to Walters State Community College and his baseball prospects have soared dramatically after a potent 2023 season.

“I’m excited about the new season,” said Ortiz. “I want to lead our team to a berth in the national tournament. I’ll be playing third base and batting third in the order.”

Ortiz has been in correspondence with Division 1 college programs, including North Carolina State, Missouri, Kansas State, and Houston.

Grateful to Henriquez and The Dugout

Deniel Ortiz made his first visit to Julio Henriquez’s Dugout baseball facility as an eighth grader, acting on the recommendation of his friend, Anthony Mateo, a baseball standout himself who pitched for the North Shore Navigators in 2023. “I’ve learned so much during my training at Dugout,” said Ortiz. “Mr. Henriquez has been a mentor and a friend. I’m so grateful for his support and guidance.” Five years after walking through the doors at The Dugout, Deniel Ortiz could have the honor of hearing his name called in the 2024 MLB Draft. “My goal is to play professional baseball,” said a confident Ortiz, revealing that his favorite team is the New York Yankees.

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