— Jason Woodell (@JasonAtTheGame) August 21, 2017
Gerson Bautista, 22, is a 6’2″ 170 lb. flamethrower for the St. Lucie Mets. Acquired July 31, 2017 in a trade with Boston that sent Addison Reed to the A.L. East, Bautista was assigned to St. Lucie of the Florida State League.
Bautista has a plus fastball that sits 96-98 and can top 100 mph. When he is on, his fastball has good sink and life but when he struggles with his mechanics, his fastball flattens out and becomes hittable. Bautista’s biggest struggle in his pro career has been control. Before joining the Mets, he pitched in the Carolina League at Salem and posted 5.56 BB/9 in 45 IP. However, it appears that Bautista may have turned a corner since joining the Mets. In 7 games covering 11 IP, he has only walked 3 while striking out 15. The improved control has allowed Bautista to control the at bat and force hitters to adjust to him. In Salem, his lack of command led to an ugly ERA and ugly batting average against, as his lack of control, especially with his secondary pitches, allowed hitters to look for the FB in FB counts.
Bautista has been used as a multi inning reliever in Salem and in St. Lucie this season. I have seen him twice. The first time in Tampa on August 12, when he threw 2 IP, gave up 3 hits, and 1 BB while allowing 1 ER. He threw 36 pitches/23 strikes. The Yankee hitters were aggressive, ambushing his FB early in the count, and squared him up to good results. The second time was on August 15 in Clearwater. Bautista closed out the game with 1 IP 0 H and 2 K and his FB topped 100 mph.
You can see in the video, Bautista has violent mechanics and is a max effort guy, leaving him susceptible to injury. It also contributes to his lack of control. He will need to make mechanical adjustments to improve his release point and allow his head to remain still in order to truly tap into his huge potential. So far in St. Lucie, so good.