Mariel Bautista headlines a group of three Billings Mustangs on the Baseball American Top 20 Pioneer League Prospects list. The Cincinnati Reds also saw pitchers James Marinan and Jared Solomon join the outfielder in the rankings. As a reminder, this list is based on the opinions of managers in the league and not based on input from scouts who saw these guys play this season. That doesn’t always mean the rankings would be different, but they could and have been in the past.

As noted above, Mariel Bautista headlines the list among the Cincinnati Reds prospects. The 20-year-old outfielder came in ranked as the 7th overall prospect in the Pioneer League. 2018 was the third consecutive season in which he’s hit at least .320. The native of the Dominican Republic beat up on opposing pitchers during the season. In 56 games he hit .330 with a .386 on-base percentage, a .541 slugging percentage, and had 24 extra-base hits. Bautista drew 16 walks and struck out just 29 times in 233 plate appearances. He also did damage on the bases, stealing 16 bases in 19 attempts. In the field, most of his time came in center, though he started six game in left field on the year.

Right handed pitcher James Marinan wasn’t in the Reds system when the season began. But he came over to the organization midseason in a trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers had him begin his season in the Arizona Rookie League, where he made three starts. Once he arrived in the Reds organization he was assigned to the Billings Mustangs and made 11 starts in the Pioneer League. The just turned 20-year-old (his birthday was yesterday) posted a 3.98 ERA for the Mustangs in 43.0 innings. He allowed just one home run, walked 19 batters, and he struck out 39.

The last prospect to make the list for the Reds was right handed pitcher Jared Solomon. The 11th round selection in the 2017 draft, Solomon dominated in nine starts for Billings. He posted a 2.27 ERA in 47.2 innings with 14 walks, four home runs allowed, and he struck out 54 batters. That got him a promotion to Dayton, where he made six starts to finish out his season.

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8 Responses

  1. Tom

    Is 6 top 20 players in 2 Rookie Ball leagues a sign of a larger / better pipeline? Is this what the Reds wanted out of adding Greenville?

    • Stock

      I think it is the result of a great draft this year. Additionally the Reds have been very patient with Bautista. Marinan was added long after the Reds purchased Greeneville. I think the timing is good because in spite of the limited cash flow the Reds have several international players low in the system. This year Bautista, Finol, Hernandez were in Greeneville or Billings. Next year Santana and Castro will be there. I don’t know if they will fast track Jose Salvador but I could see him in Greeneville next summer also.

    • Doug Gray

      While the Reds are certainly happy when other places recognize the players and give them their due – they probably aren’t thinking about that kind of stuff at all when they make moves.

      Adding Greeneville was about getting more guys stateside playing time – and that certainly worked in their favor this year. We will see how it plays out over the long haul. In year one, I think there were some good things we saw happen, but also some things that didn’t go as well, too. I’ll try to write some more about it at some point this winter. I’ve been sitting on some stuff about the situation for a while (nothing juicy – just some stuff from a talk I had with someone in the org about the situation from over the summer for an article like this in the future).

      • Tom

        Thanks, looking forward to it. From one perception you could look at it and say that Dayton now has as many as 6 rookie ball top 20 caliber players ready to begin the journey there next year. We know that all top 20 Rookie ball players don’t necessarily move up. Nevertheless, if this were years past, all we could say would be 3 top 20 players from Billings. No we have 6. Seems like a possible win in the numbers game. If every year we have 4-7 Rookie ball top 20 players (in 2 leagues), that is going to have a positive effect.

    • RobL

      Sugilio’s batted ball profile leans too much to ground balls. He was at 2.5 last year and 1.8 this year. It’s hard to have a good iso when then majority of your balls are on the ground. Bautista has a much better profile. This year, his GB/FB rate was a shade under 1.2 which is much better. He should be able to hit for more power than Sugilio.

    • Doug Gray

      No, he is not. Bigger, not as fast, better swing, more power (both now and in the future).

  2. The Duke

    Siani and Bautista seem like locks to have regular OF spots in Dayton in 2019, who do you think has the inside track on the 3rd spot (probably RF with Siani in CF and Bautista in LF)