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Sunday, September 11, 2022

Ronnie Ortegon had brief pro career, then turned to coaching and instruction, wrote hitting book

Well into his new career as a coach and instructor, Ronnie Ortegon looked back in September 2000 in The Quad-City Times on his time in 1990 playing for single-A Quad City, as well as playing for his manager there, Don Long.

The occasion was the 10-year anniversary of Quad City's 1990 Midwest League championship. 

"I find myself using a lot of the same approaches that Don used," Ortegon told The Times then as a high school baseball coach near Dallas. "I find myself trying to get kids to work hard and develop the same drive that he developed in us. I learned a lot that year."

That year proved one of two Ortegon would play in the pros. He played both at single-A. After that, however, he's gone on to a long post-playing career as a coach and instructor at multiple levels and in multiple roles. He's even written his own book on the topic - "The Hitter's Discipline."

Ortegon's career in baseball began in 1989, signed by the Angels as an undrafted free agent out of Lubbock Christian University and Grand Canyon University. Ortegon was also credited as Ron Ortegon.

Ortegon started with the Angels at single-A Palm Springs. He hit .221 in 121 games, with 42 RBI.

He then moved to Quad City. He hit .224 there in 134 games, as he helped his squad to the league title.

In the middle of their playoff run, Ortegon's manager Long told The Times he liked that Ortegon could get on base.

"He gives us good production for a No. 2 hitter," Long told The Times. "He's starting to pull the ball better and his improvements at the plate have been good this year. Even when things aren't going his way, he hangs in there."

By 1994, he was head baseball coach at Forney High School, a role he stayed in for eight years. In 2002, he served as manager with the Phillies at short-season Batavia.

He spoke to The Asbury Park Press in August 2002 about his role with the club.

"The main thing is showing them how to conduct themselves on and off the field," Ortegon told The Press in an article about an Asbury Park-area player.

In 2005, he served as hitting coach at AA Frisco, 2007 as Reds minor league hitting coordinator and, 2013 as assistant hitting coach with the Reds in Cincinnati. In 2017, he served as hitting coach with the Blue Jays AA New Hampshire.

In 2022, Ortegon offers lessons and clinics through his website, as well as his book. His objective in writing "The Hitter's Discipline," he writes on is site, "was to offer hitters a way to understand their mental approach."

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:4,024
Made the Majors:1,339-33.3%
Never Made Majors:2,685-66.7%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:547
10+ Seasons in the Minors:331

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