Ariel Rafael Ovando
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 6' 4", Weight 230 lb.
Ariel Ovando was taken in the minor league portion of the Rule V Draft as both an outfielder and a pitcher.
Ovando was signed by Houston Astros scouts Felix Francisco, Rafael Belen and Jose Ortiz. He made his pro debut in the US, unusual for a Dominican prospect, hitting .235/.283/.365 for the 2011 Greeneville Astros. Baseball America named him Houston's #10 prospect. Back with the team in 2012, he improved his batting line to .287/.350/.444 with 6 home runs, though he fanned in 67 of 223 AB. He was 7th in the Appalachian League in strikeouts, between Bubba Starling and Terrell Joyce. Baseball America downgraded him to the Astros' #14 prospect.
In 2013, Ogando played for Greeneville (.216/.310/.333 in 51 G) and the Quad Cities River Bandits (.172/.250/.219 in 49 G). The right fielder was under the Mendoza Line for the year. He hit .237/.287/.289 for the '14 Tri-City ValleyCats. The Iowa Cubs took him in the AAA portion of the 2014 Rule V Draft. Converted to pitching, he was excellent for the 2015 AZL Cubs (4-0, 0.43 ERA, 10 H, 10 BB, 33 K in 21 IP) and was taken by the Salt Lake Bees in the 2015 Rule V Draft.
Sources include 2014 Astros Media Guide