It was no surprise to Orioles fans when six prospects were added to the 40-man roster to safeguard them from the still-delayed Rule 5 draft in November.
A 26-year-old reliever who had never pitched beyond Delmarva before the 2021 season was one of the more shocking selections.
It took a long time for Bautista’s career to take him to this point.
His professional career with the Marlins began as an amateur free agent signing with the team in the Dominican Republic during the 2012-13 season.
Without providing him an opportunity to play at a level above the Dominican Summer League, Miami dismissed him early in 2015.
He signed with the Orioles a year later and played in the Double-A Midwest League for the remainder of the season.
When Mike Elias and colleagues took over, Bautista was still roaming around the Orioles’ minor league system.
Bautista was promoted to the lower leagues for the first time during the 2019 season. His 24-year-old season was the one he was playing in at the time.
There were 23 walks in 36.2 innings of work by Bautista in 26 appearances for Delmarva, a minor league team.
Any potential scout isn’t going to take notice of a player who acts like that.
Bautista didn’t get another chance to show himself until this season because of the pandemic that wiped out the 2020 minor league season.
He was sent to High-A Aberdeen by the Orioles to begin the season. The franchise promoted Bautista to Double-A Bowie after he struck out 45.2% of the batters he faced in 15 innings.
At Bowie, he continued to strike out 42.1% of the batters he faced.
At the conclusion of the season, he received one more promotion, sending him to Norfolk, where his strikeout rate remained impressive but not as shocking.
In Triple-A, he struck out a third of the batters he faced.
How Tall is Felix Bautista?
Felix Bautista stands at a height of 1.95 m