Gerson Bautista is the first player on the Top 30 prospect list that played in the majors in 2018! Bautista came over with Callahan (#17 according to BA) and Nogosek (not ranked but the Mets sent him to the Arizona Fall League this year) in the Addison Reed trade during the 2017 season. He had never played at a level above A+ before 2018 and in 2018 he played in AA, the majors, AAA, the majors again and AAA for the rest of the season.
In his April and May stint at the major league level he struggled, allowing 8 hits over 6 runs in 4.1 innings. He was called up in April due to a combination of factors:
- He has an impressive fastball topping out above 100 mph
- He was intriguing in Spring Training
- The Mets were injured (what else is new)
- Binghamton is so close to Queens. Las Vegas is not.
He wasn’t lights out in Binghamton when the Mets called him, posting a 4.82 ERA over 6 games and 9.1 innings but 100 mph fastball is a 100 mph fastball and you don’t know what will happen when you put that on the mound. He struggled the rest of the season Las Vegas posting a 6.81 ERA over 39.2 innings. Its worth noting that:
- We all know about pitching in Las Vegas and the PCL in general
- He was 3.6 years younger than the league, despite being 23
- The Mets at that point had bounced him AA-Majors-AAA-Majors-AAA
Through most of his minor league career he dominated posting good ERAs in the DOSL, Gulf Coast League, New York Penn League and the Southern Atlantic League. When the Mets acquired him, he was hitting his first real rough patch with the Red Sox A+ team, posting a 5.16 ERA over 45.1 innings but with the Mets in St. Lucie he posted a 1.26 ERA over 14.1 innings.
Ultimately, we know we are going to Bautista again next season. This can happen through the positive route or the inevitable out of his control route:
- Positive Route: Bautista rebounds and finishes 2018 strong with a good 2018 Arizona Fall League campaign, comes into camp and blows everyone away, essentially demanding the Mets give him a roster spot
- Inevitable Route: Bullpen injuries on the Mets are frequent, the Mets don’t sign enough arms this winter, whoever is the darling of Spring Training camp fizzles out by May and the Mets need a new arm. The Mets mismanage their bullpen and due to weather issues have to play 8 games in 7 days and need a fresh arm. The Mets are going to call up Bautista again next year. They have to.