Future Watch: Rafael Bautista Rookie Baseball Cards, Nationals – Rafael Bautista is a 6′-2″ center fielder who was signed by the Washington Nationals in 2012 as a free agent. Now 23, he’s an important part of the Harrisburg Senators team in AA. In his first 85 games there he’s driven in 21, scored 51 times, has 10 extra-base hits and 39 stolen bases!
This Dominican prospect can field, run, and make things happen in general. He’s only lacking power, the fact that he’s a good contact hitter means his journey to the big leagues is seemingly in sight.
According to his MLB.com draft profile:
Bautista’s speed is his best tool and he uses it well on the bases and in the outfield. He stole 69 bases in 2014, the second most in full-season ball. But he doesn’t just run indiscriminately. He has good instincts on the bases and will bunt for a hit. Defensively, he takes good routes and tracks down an impressive amount of fly balls in center field. ETA 2017
Here’s a good look at his level swing and his acceleration out of the batter’s box:
Rafael Bautista has a Chrome Prospect autograph, card number CPA-RB, in 2016 Bowman Baseball. Right now, few know about him but that could change very soon. Bautista also has non-autographed paper and Chrome 1st Bowman cards in 2015 Bowman Baseball.
At 165 pounds he will soon fill out. He already has the raw skills every outfielder needs including a plus throwing arm. Another plus in his game is his relatively low strikeout ratio. If he can keep that up that will help him get a major league job for sure.
Even the most critical prospect driven websites feel Bautista has an intriguing skill set. The fact that he’ll be joining one of the best teams in the National League could hold him back a bit based on the depth of their major league talent.