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.