The Island to the Show: Rafael Bautista
MLB Debut: April 30
Harrisburg stats (2016)
136 g, .282/.344/.341
77 runs, 39 RBI, 56 SB
In 2016, Rafael Bautista proved to the doubters that he could hit at the upper levels of the minors as he put together consistent at-bats for the entire season. Sure, he always had speed to burn and the centerfielder set a single season modern franchise record for the Senators for stolen bases. But it was Bautista’s increased command of the strike zone and batting eye that saw him draw a career-best 45 walks. The number of times he bunted for a base hit, even when the other team knew it was coming, were too many to count. The Nationals were impressed enough to add Bautista to the 40-man roster in the off-season.
The 24-year-old Dominican was promoted to Washington after Adam Eaton went down with a season-ending injury. Bautista went 1-for-8 in 5 games during his brief call-up with the Nationals.