Rafael Bautista

Position: OF
Born: 03/08/93
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 165
B/T: R/R
Acquired: Signed as an international free agent (Dominican Republic) Jan. 9, 2012 (WSH).

Most Recent Stats at Time of Debut
2016 season stats: Hit .282 with four home runs, 39 RBIs and 56 stolen bases at Harrisburg (Double-A). In 2017, he was hitting .291 with two home runs, four RBIs and five stolen bases in 19 games at Syracuse (Triple-A).

Info & MLB Debut Date
Recalled from Syracuse April 29 when OF Adam Eaton went on the 10-day DL.
MLB Debut Date: 04/30/17

Debut Details
April 30, in a 23-5 win over the Mets. A late-game entry to pinch hit, he stayed in the game in left field and went 0-for-2. Coming on in the seventh to pinch hit for left-handed reliever Oliver Perez, he flied out to center field on the first pitch from Mets catcher-turned-right-handed reliever for a night, Kevin Plawecki. In the eighth inning, with two outs and Plawecki still on as sacrificial bullpen lamb for the night, Bautista grounded out to shortstop.

Player Notes
If nothing else, Bautista will probably not forget his debut as the Nationals set all sorts of offensive records that day (even though he didn't really contribute to any of them but give the kid time). Although Eaton was technically placed on the 10-day DL, his season has now ben lost to season-ending ACL surgery, so the Nationals made their first call-up of a "debutante" this season by bringing up one of the top pure speed/center field prospects in all of baseball. Bautista's 56 steals in 2016 shared the minor league lead, and his 69 stolen bases at Hagerstown (Class A) in 2014 was second in the minors. Only a broken finger suffered in 2015, which wiped out much of his summer, kept him from another full season of blazing the basepaths. In 474 minor league games since making his debut in the Dominican Summer League in 2012 (where he stole 47 bases in 67 games), Bautista has swiped 227 bags in 474 games. But he is not a one-trick speed pony. He not only has the speed but knows how to use it, both on the bases and on defense. He's a smart and savvy player who has never batted below .275 in a season and boasts a career .293 mark at the plate while turning in plus defense in center. The Nationals have always been cautious about calling up "the kids" so there could be an interesting battle between Bautista and the speedy talented Michael Taylor, who has struggled somewhat in his taste of the majors, for that full-time job.