Orioles 2021 #22 Prospect Felix Bautista – RP


Big hulking righthander with the best fastball in the organization, went through three levels to end the year in Norfolk where he was the closer. A late bloomer, his blazing fastball and ability to miss bats brings him in at #22.

Felix Bautista
Pos: RHP
Bats: R
Throws: R
Age (as of Jun 30th) : 26
2021 Level: A+/AA/AAA

Pitches (current/future value)
Fastball: 70/70
Split Change: 45/50
Curve: 40/45
Command: 40/40


Most Likely Future Role: Multi-inning reliever
Ceiling: Late inning reliever

What we know: Don’t pay attention to his listed height and weight on typical sites, this hulking righthander is 6-foot-7 and at least 270 pounds, though some believe he tops 300. Always tough to hit, Bautista took a big step forward this season has he was able to throw enough strikes to dominate hitters at three levels.

Bautista brings a fastball that can sit 96-99 MPH and top out at 101 MPH. It doesn’t have tremendous movement, but he’s able to throw enough strikes with the pitch around the strike zone and gets a lot of swings and misses on the pitch. His offspeed offerings will flash average but are inconsistent. His split change is his best offspeed pitch and it has good drop and arm side run getting it’s share of swings and misses. His breaking ball is a hard curveball that occasionally can flash average but has below average break and is more of a get me over pitch than a finishing pitch.

He dominated A+ and AA hitters for a .094/.269/.156/.425 slash line only getting in trouble when he struggled to control his stuff. Despite a fairly low 61% strike rate, he got a solid 17% swinging strike rate and 22% looking strike rate. Moved up to AAA in early August, Bautista held AAA hitters to a .175/.284/.286/.569, allowing an earned run in only three of his 17 outings.

What we don’t know: With his lack of command and go to offspeed pitch, will his fastball play at the major league level despite the upper velocity?

What we think: Bautista is ready for the major leagues and will need to be placed on the 40-man roster this offseason or he will definitely be taken in the rule 5 draft. He will go into major league spring training as a favorite to win a bullpen spot and could be in the running to close at some point in 2023. There is an upside of his him becoming a closer, but most likely will end up a multi-inning reliever.

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Tony has owned and operated Orioles Hangout since 1996 and is well known for his knowledge of the Baltimore Orioles organization from top to bottom. He's a frequent guest on Baltimore-area sports radio stations and can be heard regularly on the 105.7 FM The Fan. His knowledge and contacts within the Orioles minor league system and the major league baseball scouting industry is unparalleled in the Baltimore media and is known as an expert on the Orioles prospects.