Kevin Kernan of the New York Post profiled the Mets latest flame thrower Gerson Bautista. For those that remember, Bautista was not just the crown jewel of the Addison Reed trade, he was the best prospect the Mets obtained at the trade deadline last season. Over the offseason, he was added to the 40 man roster to protect him from the 40 man roster, and he is already leaving a good impression with the New York Mets.
You are going to do that with the type of stuff Baustista has. As noted by Mets skipper Mickey Callaway, “We’ll see how he moves along, but 100 [mph] makes a statement.”
The moving along part was an important point by Callaway. Unlike many of the top prospects in the game, Bautista was late to baseball. In fact, he did not begin practicing until he was 16 years old. Considering Bautista is just 22 years old, in some ways, it is quite impressive where he is considering he has only focused on playing baseball for roughly six years.
Scouts would agree with that assessment saying, “His biggest weapon is four-seamer with high velo [98th percentile], high spin [84th percentile], high ride and steep angle. His secondary pitches, slider and changeup, show promise as well.”
The only thing truly left for the right-hander is to put it all together. With that in mind, he has spent much of the Spring befriending Jeurys Familia in the hopes of learning what it takes to become a Major League reliever. Before Bautista gets to that point, he is going to have to improve his control.
Even before this Spring, he has made some improvements in that area. In 27 appearances for Boston’s Carolina League Single-A affiliate, Bautista had walked 5.6 per nine while striking out 10.5 per nine. With some work with the Mets coaching staff, Baustista would dazzle in 10 appearances for St. Lucie reducing his walks per nine to 1.9 while increasing his strikeout rate to 12.6.
Put in other words, Bautista has become unhittable. It is something the Florida State League hitters learned, and it is something the Mets hitters are soon learning. Bautista is quickly learning this saying, “They say if I keep that velocity on my pitches there will be no chance for any hitter.”