The St. Louis Cardinals announced today they have made a waiver claim, acquiring outfielder Rafael Ortega, after he was designated for assignment by the Texas Rangers on December 30, 2013.
Ortega, a 22-year old native of El Tigre, Venezuela, was originally signed as a non-drafted free agent by the Colorado Rockies in 2008. He played five seasons in the Rockies system before making his Major League debut, a promotion from Single-A Modesto in the California League to Colorado, on Sept. 30, 2012, starting in centerfield and going 2-for-3 with a walk and a stolen base at Dodger Stadium. He would appear in one more game in 2012 before the season concluded.
The left-handed hitting outfielder played 42 games for the Rockies Double-A affiliate in Tulsa in 2013, batting .228 with a home run, 10 RBI and was 9-for-13 in stolen base attempts before a leg injury in late June ended his season.
Ortega played in 462 career minor league games batting .298 with 26 home runs and 231 RBI while stealing 156 bases.
He was claimed off waivers by the Texas Rangers from the Rockies on November 27, 2013, before getting placed on waivers again last Monday.
The Cardinals roster stands at 39 following today's transaction.