Mets’ Prospect Gerson Bautista is Showing His Potential

By Tim Ryder

March 7, 2018 14 Comments

Gerson Bautista was acquired from the Boston Red Sox in the Addison Reed trade last July (Jamie Callahan and Stephen Nogosek were the other players the Mets received).

A native of San Juan, DR, Bautista, has shown a lot of promise this spring and looks to be the early-headliner in the return Sandy Alderson got in return for Reed.

Bautista, 22, was originally a starting pitcher in the Red Sox’ minor-league system. In 2014 as a member of the Sox’ Dominican Summer League team, he made 12 starts (61 IP), pitching to a 1.03 ERA with a 0.951 WHIP. His next season was mostly more of the same, with dips in production coming in very small levels in a few statistical categories.

In the Gulf Coast League in 2015, in 11 starts he had a 2.77 ERA and 1.212 WHIP. Again, these are slight jumps up in his numbers from the previous season, but with the increase in talent in comparison to the Dominican Summer League, this had to be somewhat expected.

It was in 2016 between two levels of MiLB (Single-A Greenville & Low-A Lowell) when Boston turned Bautista into a full-time reliever, and boy did they make a wise decision there. Over his 23 appearances in 2016, his ERA was an efficient 2.55 ERA with a WHIP of 1.075.

His increases in K/9 and SO/W ratio were significant. His K/9 increased from 4.7 in ’14 to 7.1 in ’15, then it shot up to 9.2 his first year in the bullpen. Same goes for his SO/W’s (1.52, 1.52, 2.77).

He faltered a bit at the beginning of last season in High-A Salem (27 appearances, 5.16 ERA, 1.89 SO/W), though his K/9 numbers jumped up once again to 10.5. Once he was traded to the Mets in July, he was sent to High-A Port St. Lucie and flourished.

In 10 relief appearances, Bautista pitched to a sparkling 1.26 ERA with a 0.907 WHIP and K/9 and SO/W numbers of 12.6 and 6.67, respectively. So far this spring, in four Grapefruit League appearances, Gerson Bautista has pitched to a 1.93 ERA with an impressive 1.07 WHIP.

Imagine one day fitting this overpowering, he sits 97/98 MPH and has hit 101, young righty somewhere behind Jeurys Familia or as a righty-on-righty (righties had a .258 average against him last season, but his BABIP against them was also .381, so he could be due for some good luck).

Any kinks that need to be worked out should all be completed tasks by the time he makes his MLB debut. I personally can’t wait to watch this young man’s development over the next season or two.

  • Definitely a guy to keep an eye on. I’m personally tempering my excitement so far because a lot of these guys (eg. Hansel Robles) with the big fastballs never develop a consistently plus breaker. Without a legit change of pace, you can’t succeed in MLB. Reports thus far indicate his slider “shows promise”, which means it isn’t there yet, and may or may not develop in time. Let’s hope it does.

  • All I know is that the night of the Reed trade I was messaged by a Red Sox prospect . Thing about Bautista is that his 100 fastball is STRAIGHT so guys at any level including minors can hit bombs off him if they timed it right .

  • Nessim Toledano

    He has a slider as well. He’s still learning to control it, but he made big imporvement after coming to the MEts last year.

  • Nessim Toledano

    It hasn’t looked that straight this spring. And they can’t time it right if they don’t know when its coming. He doesn’t throw every fastball at 100, so that can serve to keep hitter off balance. Look, he was a single-A pitcher last year. If he develops better command of his slider, and adds another pitch (change-up, perhaps), it can be plenty. Especially for a reliever.

  • Sounds good to me . Just stating what I was told last year.

  • Amed’s Beard

    Familia is a FA after this season, so unless Bautista zips through Bingo, they will pass like 2 ships in the night.

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  • Jason Mercado

    Yeah should be about 2 seasons away barring video game numbers in Double A, also there’s quite a few guys ahead of him if ML club needs Relievers.

  • paqza

    Maybe 2 years away to getting good but a post-ASB callup isn’t out of the question this season if he can limit walks.

  • paqza

    I’ve heard it actually has above average rise due to high spin rate, so even if there’s not much side-to-side movement, there’s a lot of vertical movement, which is what’s needed to get popups and whiffs.

  • paqza

    Your point stands for all pitching prospects. Compared to Robles, though, his FB is 3-5 MPH faster, which is a huge difference.

  • Jason Mercado

    Of course. If he equates his numbers when he started in Mets system all season he definitely could be an option sooner than 2 yrs.

  • Nessim Toledano

    Is Familia really a FA after this season? Or after 2019? Because I’ve read both. My understanding is that players do not get credited with major league service time for September call-ups. That still gives Familia exactly six years after 2018. But he also loses service time for the suspension, which would keep him short of the full six years.

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