Entering the 2019 season, Mariel Bautista had hit .320 or higher in three straight seasons. He was coming off of a big, breakout year for the Billings Mustangs the year prior where he posted a career best .927 OPS in the Pioneer League. Ready for the next level, the Cincinnati Reds sent him to join the Dayton Dragons to begin the 2019 season.
The season started out well for Mariel Bautista – he went 6-17 (.429) in the first four games that included three extra-base hits. He went into a slump over the next eight games, though, hitting just .103, going 3-29. In the second half of the month he would rebound well, hitting .310/.396/.524 down the stretch – salvaging the month from an offensive performance. He would hit .259/.327/.435 on the month with seven steals.
May was a struggle for Mariel Bautista. In the first three weeks of May he hit just .205/.266/.274. That came with two walks and 14 strikeouts. The month came to an end on May 22nd as he hit the injured list with a shoulder injury. Nearly a month later he returned to the field with the Arizona League Reds on a rehab assignment. He hit well in Goodyear over his five games there, hitting .368 with three doubles, before returning to Dayton for the last week of June. The outfielder would hit .300 in the last six games of the month with the Dragons.
Mariel Bautista would carry that finish into July, hitting .344 (11 for 32) in the first 10 days of the month. But he went into a big slump over the next 14 games, hitting just .115 from the 11th through the 28th. The 21-year-old did finish the month out well, racking up three straight 2-hit games. He would finish the month with a .626 OPS.
Over the first two weeks of August, Mariel Bautista hit .295 with four walks in 11 games. But he went into a big slump over the final three weeks of the season. Over the last 18 games of the year he hit just .164 with six walks and 21 strikeouts. In the final 29 games of the year he would hit just .216/.298/.279 with 10 walks and 30 strikeouts.
For all 2019 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
Position: OF | B/T: R/R
Height: 6′ 3″ | Weight: 194 lb | Acquired: International FA, 2014
Born: October 10, 1997
Hitting | He shows an above-average hit tool when it comes to the raw grade – but it didn’t play up there during the 2019 season.
Power | The game power is below-average right now, but he’s got above-average raw power to tap into.
Running | He has above-average to plus speed.
Defense | He’s a solid defender in the corners and can play center field.
Arm | The arm is solid and can play at all three spots in the outfield, though it doesn’t stand out in right field.
During the 2019 season you saw the flashes of upside with Mariel Bautista. You could see the raw power show up from time to time, though it didn’t show up frequently. On the bases and in the field you could see the speed. And there were times you could see the hit tool at work, using the entire field and spraying line drives everywhere. But almost all of that was inconsistent.
The biggest thing that jumped out at the plate was his struggles to identify a breaking ball on the outer third of the plate quickly enough to hold back. That led to a big jump up in strikeout rate compared to the previous three years of his career, as well as a lower power output.
When looking at the tools, Mariel Bautista covers all of the bases. He’s fast, he can play a premium defensive position, he’s got real power, and he could hit for an average. But 2019 showed that he’s still got to work on developing those into more consistent skills. More advanced pitchers were able to get him to expand the strikezone – leading to more swings and misses, and a little more soft contact when he did connect. There’s 5-tool potential here, but some risk, too, if the bat doesn’t take some steps forward in the future.
Longest Home Run of the Year
413 Feet on May 6th.
Interesting Stat on Mariel Bautista
He had 25 infield hits during the season.
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