Gerson Bautista pitched two perfect innings in the Binghamton Rumble Ponies loss to the Akron RubberDucks. In these two perfect innings, Bautista struck out five of the six batters he would face while walking no batters. This appearance was the latest in what has been a great run for Bautista since joining the Mets organization.
At the trade deadline last year, Bautista was one of three right-handed relievers obtained from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for Addison Reed. Actually, he was more than that. With his ability to hit triple digits with his electric fastball, Bautista was the crown jewel not just of the trade but also among all the right-handed relief prospects the Mets obtained last season.
The catch with Bautista was the Mets were going to have to harness his stuff.
Before coming to the Mets organization, Baustista was 3-2 with a 5.16 ERA and a 1.809 WHIP for the Red Sox High-A affiliate Salem Red Sox. While his 53 strikeouts in 45.1 innings were impressive, they were mitigated by his walking 5.6 batters per nine innings. Things would change considerably when Bautista came to the Mets organization.
Last year, working with pitching coach Marc Valdes, Bautista began to figure things out. In 10 appearances, Bautista pithced 14.1 innings going 0-1 with a 1.26 ERA and a 0.907 WHIP. The strikeouts were still there with him striking out 20 batters. However, the walks began to disappear with Bautista walking just three batters.
So far this year, Baustista is proving that was no fluke. In his two appearances, he has faced 11 batters, and he has struck out eight of them. Perhaps more importantly, he has yet to issue a walk. That’s a huge step forward for a reliever with a huge arm and unlimited potential coming out of the bullpen.