During my trip to spring training in 2017 an unknown prospect at the time, Mariel Bautista, stood out among the group of players that were destined for extended spring training. He had hit .333/.408/.473 the year before in the Dominican Summer League. That performance earned him an invitation stateside for 2017.

The Cincinnati Reds assigned Mariel Bautista to the Arizona League Reds once the rookie season began. The 19-year-old wasted no time at all. In the first week of his season he hit .400, going 8-20 over the final week of June. He didn’t walk, but only had two strikeouts. The right handed hitter also had two doubles and drove in five runs.

The outfielder would not play for the first several days of July. On the 4th, Mariel Bautista returned to the lineup and went 6-17 (.353) over the following week. Another five days would go by before he would see the lineup again. He would play in seven games through the 23rd, going 8-30 (.267) with two doubles. Bautista only played one game over the final week of the month, though, going 2-3 on the 28th. He would only play in 12 games during the month, but made them count as he hit .320/.358/.360.

August began with a seven game hitting streak for Mariel Bautista. He went 11-29 in that span, hitting two doubles along the way. A mini-slump followed in the next four game that included just one game with a hit. He closed out the season’s final eight games with hits in seven of them. Over the final month of the year he hit .299/.341/.390 with five doubles and a triple. He really began to show off his speed in this stretch, too, stealing 13 bases.

For all 2017 Season Reviews and Scouting Reports – click here (these will come out during the week throughout the offseason).

Mariel Bautista Spray Chart

Mariel Bautista Scouting Report

Hitting | Mariel Bautista has hit .320 and .333 over the last two seasons. He makes contact at a good rate and he can use the entire field well. His speed will also help him generate some additional infield hits. The hit tool has above-average potential.

Power | In 2017 he didn’t hit a single home run. The in-game power isn’t there right now. His isolated power was just .075, which is Billy Hamilton-esque. With that said, he’s a lean 6′ 3″ and has plenty of room to fill out. He shows power in batting practice and could grow into average power where 15 home runs isn’t out of the question.

Running | He’s an above-average to plus runner right now.

Arm | He shows off a solid arm that will play at all three outfield spots.

Defense | While he saw most of his action in left field in 2017, he’s capable of handling center field just fine. He has limited action in right field in his career, but can play there, too.

Right now, Mariel Bautista represents a potential 5-tool player. There are plenty of things to like about his current game. He’s fast and he used his speed very well on the basepaths in 2017, going 16-for-17 on stolen base attempts in just 36 games played. He made contact at a good rate and carried a high batting average for a second straight season.

There are some areas he will need to improve, though. While there is power potential in there, it’s not showing up in games at all right now. Improving his strikeout-to-walk ratio will also be key. That is mostly tied to his low walk rate, though. The 19-year-old had just five walks in 157 plate appearances. That’s a rate that will have to improve moving forward.