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Kofa’s Gabe Ortiz joining Marlins organization

Gabe Ortiz is the first ever coach from Yuma to become a full-time coach for an MLB organization.

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - Gabe Ortiz is now the first coach from Yuma to become a full-time coach for a Major League Baseball organization.

Ortiz spent the last two seasons as the head baseball coach for Kofa High School. He has also coached at Arizona Western College and USA Baseball. Now he is making jump to the pros and joining the Miami Marlins organization as a minor league defensive coach in the Dominican Republic.

"It's surreal," Ortiz said. "It hasn't sunk in yet. It's a chance to work with a different caliber of player and be around a group of individuals at the professional level, the smartest in the field. So, I'm just really anxious to to learn and to grow professionally."

Ortiz will be heading down to the Marlins academy in Boca Chica, Dominican Republic, where he will try and help young players progress through the ranks of the Marlins organization.

"My family was supportive," he said. "I got their blessings and they were all fired up and said you should definitely go after it. They're going to stay back [in the United States]. The first stint will be with the Dominican Summer League. I get down there, I'll jump in and help out, where needed with that."

The Dominican Summer League is a rookie level minor league and Ortiz is eager to work with some of the most high touted prospects the game has to offer.

"Some of these 16 and 17 year olds, they're physical tools are mind boggling," Ortiz said. "It doesn't seem like they're high school age kids sometimes. a couple of kids are up to 97, 98 mph and the pull downs or outfield velocity."

Ortiz's experience coaching high school and junior college players makes him perfectly suited for this role.

"They're all from the range of 16 to 19 years old, so the reality is we're dealing with the same age group of people," he said. "It's a different environment but as far as the development standpoint, it's roughly the same as the different level of talent.

Ortiz is also excited to improve as a coach and utilize the world class facilities and resources the organization has to offer.

"One thing that really, was kind of a match made in heaven was their emphasis and development of strength and conditioning, along with a skill set in baseball IQ," Ortiz said. "The main challenge is going to be the use of data and technology at professional level. That's some that's implemented a lot in kind of they use that in their player development. We did use some technology here at Kofa But the level of it, the extent of using it at the professional level is something that I'm really looking forward to."

Ortiz's son Ozzie will be a sophomore at Kofa in the fall and the former King's head coach plans to still be involved with the program when he is back in Yuma during the offseason.

"When I come back in the offseason, I'm still going to help move that program forward and be there as much as I possibly can," Ortiz told his former players.

Ortiz is already involved in team zoom calls and will be heading down to Boca Chica in the near future, where he hopes to do his part in helping the Marlins win their third World Series title.

Article Topic Follows: High School Sports

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Chas Messman

Chas Messman joined KYMA in July 2023 as News 11’s Sports Director. If you have any sports story ideas, send them to


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