Baltimore Orioles minor league pitcher Luis Ortiz died after a battle with cancer, the organization said in a statement Sunday. He was 20.
Ortiz, who was originally from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, signed with the Orioles in 2019 and pitched at the rookie level in 2021.
“Our hearts are heavy today as we mourn the passing of minor league pitcher Luis Andrés Ortiz Soriano. We will miss his passion and love for the game of baseball, and we extend our deepest condolences to his family,” the Orioles said.
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“Luis was an inspiration to all who knew him, especially as he courageously battled cancer. We hope that the cherished and treasured memories of Luis will be a comfort for his family and friends during this devastating time.”
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Ortiz was remembered as a “fighter” for the way he handled the diagnosis and the fight.
“I can’t believe the way he took it on,” Orioles senior director of international scouting Koby Perez told The Baltimore Sun. “Anytime he was around me, he acted really mature about it. He took it as well as anybody would ever take something like that.
“He was a fighter. He said he was going to fight, and he did all the way to his last breath.”
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Ortiz was 16 when he signed with the Orioles in 2019. He pitched in the Florida Complex League in 2021 and was assigned to Single-A Delmarva in 2022 but spent the year on the injured list as he battled the disease.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.