We’re all familiar with Big Papi but what about Lil Papi? Turns out, D’Angelo Ortiz, 15-year-old son of former Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, is a chip off the old block. The elder Ortiz shared video of his son putting on a show at a recent batting practice session, crushing majestic blasts in a 48-second clip posted to Instagram Friday night.
The right-handed D’Angelo (unlike his left-handed hitting father) appears to have a pretty smooth stroke and plenty of pull power to left field. Mini Ortiz—though not that “mini” at a listed height of 6’1” and 225 pounds—spent his 2020 season at the prestigious IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida (judging by the palm trees in the background, that’s probably where this video was shot), about an hour-and-a-half drive from the Red Sox spring training facility in Fort Myers. While Big Papi rarely put his glove to use as a designated hitter, D’Angelo takes pride in his fielding, impressing with his play at the hot corner.
“He’s very good defensively,” Papi told Stan Grossfeld of the Boston Globe in a profile that ran this past February, adding that he’s never pressured his son to follow in his legendary footsteps. “We’d love it if he was a baseball player, but if it doesn’t work out, what can you do? Educate yourself, graduate and have a life.”
Lately we’ve seen an influx of players with famous dads arriving in the big leagues including Vlad Guerrero Jr. and Cavan Biggio of the Toronto Blue Jays. Will D’Angelo, who gains draft eligibility in 2022, continue that trend? With Ortiz, the author of 541 MLB homers, to lean on for hitting advice, I like Lil Papi’s chances.