Name: Alex Bautista
Age: 22 (DOB: 9/6/1993)
How Acquired: Drafted in 22nd round, 653 overall, out of Lindsey Wilson College
Status: Rule 5 eligible after the 2018 season
Alex Bautista is looking to make history and become the first player from Lindsey Wilson College to reach the majors. And the 22-year-old has his work cut out to complete the journey from the Columbia, Kentucky, Division II to school to the big leagues.
The Cubs 22nd round pick last June, the Brooklyn New York native helped Lindsey Wilson to its first-ever College World Series appearance and became the first Blue Raider to earn first-team all-american honors in 15 years. Only two NAIA players hit more homers than Bautista, a five-tool outfielder that led his team in runs (69), homers (19), RBI (72), slugging (.728), stolen bases (27) and walks (24).
Bautista played two years at Lindsey Wilson after starting his college career at Clarendon College, where he hit .394 with 7 HR and 21 SB in 51 games as a sophomore.
"What he did this season was impressive but his best days are still ahead,” said Lindsey head coach Jonathan Burton after the draft. “The Cubs should be very excited about what the future holds for this young man. Alex was such an important player for our team this season and it is very gratifying as a coach to see his hard work pay off, allowing him to achieve his ultimate dream. Alex is a great young man that is going to represent our program with high character at the next level.”
After the draft Bautista headed to Mesa and started his pro career in the Arizona Rookie League, making his debut on June 27, two days after signing his contract. No stranger to playing in front of small crowds, Bautista singled in his pro debut against the Giants and clubbed his first pro homer July 16 vs. D-Backs. The Division II star only played 18 games in the AZL before earning a promotion to Eugene in late July. While in Mesa, Bautista hit .274/.318/.403 in 62 at-bats and played six games in left and nine in right, committing two errors. In his NWL debut on July 24, the right-hander smacked a two-run homer in the bottom of the 8th in the Emeralds 6-5 loss to Salem-Keizer, finishing the game 1-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts. Bautista had an eight-game hitting streak from Aug. 24 to Sept. 1 and batted .242/.303/.364 with 2 HR and 13 RBI in 29 games. He spent majority of his playing time as the starting right-fielder in Eugene, handling 35 chances while committing one error.
Tools and 2016 Outlook
The 22-year-old stands six-feet tall and sports the build of a football player. According to one source, “Bautista is good defender and takes good routes, which makes up for his average speed. Arm is day-to-day and has the arm strength but needs to improve his accuracy. With the bat, Bautista shows good power to all fields, especially if he doesn’t get pull happy.” Based on his 2015 performance, the Brooklyn native will be battling for a spot on the South Bend roster when the minor league season starts, and could open some eyes with his power in the MWL.