José Antonio Bautista Santos (born October 19, 1980) is a Dominican professional baseball right fielder and third baseman who is a free agent.
He has played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Baltimore Orioles, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Kansas City Royals, Pittsburgh Pirates, Toronto Blue Jays, Atlanta Braves, New York Mets, and Philadelphia Phillies.
Bautista’s professional career began when the Pittsburgh Pirates selected him in the 20th round of the 2000 Major League Baseball draft.
In 2010, he became the 26th member of the 50 home run club, while leading MLB in home runs for the first of two consecutive seasons.
From 2010–2015, Bautista hit more home runs than any player in the major leagues.
An MLB All-Star selection six consecutive times, he has won three Silver Slugger Awards and two Hank Aaron Awards.
In addition, he has received the American League (AL) Player of the Month Award, five times, and the AL Player of the Week, four times.
Before being traded to the Blue Jays, Bautista primarily played third base.
Although major league scouts initially took note of Bautista while he was in junior college for his batting skills – including power hitting potential and a strong throwing arm – his career would take many detours, until Bautista finally realized his potential, in 2010.
He made his MLB debut with the Baltimore Orioles in 2004, and, that year, became the first player ever to appear on five MLB rosters in one season.
The last of those clubs was the Pirates, where he would spend four-plus seasons, seeing time as a utility player, while playing at six different positions, including designated hitter (DH).Bautista was then traded to the Blue Jays, in August 2008.
After making adjustments to his swing, he broke through with ten home runs in September 2009.
Bautista has since been voted in the top ten in the AL Most Valuable Player Award four times, and is a leader or among the top ten in numerous offensive single-season and career categories in Blue Jays' franchise history.From 2010 to 2017, Bautista hit at least 20 home runs each year, and in four of those seasons, hit at least 35 home runs, both scored and drove in at least 100 runs, and drew at least 100 bases on balls, including twice leading the AL.
In 2015, while playing in the playoffs for the first time, his bat flip in the American League Division Series (ALDS) caused a sensation that became a symbol of Toronto's first playoff appearance in 22 years.
In 2011, Bautista set up a program that assists athletes from the Dominican Republic to attend universities in the United States.