Raimel Antonio Tapia Linarez
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 6' 2", Weight 160 lb.
- Debut September 2, 2016
Outfielder Raimel Tapia was considered one of the top prospects in baseball when he made his big league debut at the end of the 2016 season.
He was signed by the Colorado Rockies as an amateur free agent out of the Dominican Republic before the 2011 season. He began his pro career that year with the DSL Rockies, hitting .262 in 67 games at the age of 17. He was with the same team in 2012, improving to .316 in 63 games. He began his U.S. career with a splash in 2013 as he won the Pioneer League batting title with a mark of .357 in 66 games for the Grand Junction Rockies. It was not an empty average, either, as he added 20 doubles, 6 triples and 7 homers, scored 53 runs and drove in 47.
Before the 2014 season, Baseball America named Raimel the #97 prospect in baseball, his first time cracking the top 100 prospects list. That season, he played for the Asheville Tourists of the South Atlantic League, hitting .326/.382/.453 in 122 games. He hit 32 doubles and 9 homers, scored 93 runs and drove in 72 and also stole 33 bases. This excellent all-around performance improved his prospect ranking to #45 as the 2015 season began. He spent that year with the Modesto Nuts of the California League, where he hit .305/.333/.467 in 131 games. he continued to show good power, with 34 doubles, 9 triples and 12 homers. He was named to play in the 2015 Futures Game. He then hit .330 in 37 games for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League after the season. Now ranked at #42 by Baseball America, he began the 2016 season with the Hartford Yard Goats, Colorado's new affiliate in the AA Eastern League. he was hitting well over .300 at mid-season when for the second straight year, he was selected to be a member of the World team at the Futures Game.
As the starting left fielder for the Rockies at the beginning of the 2021 season, he was involved in two strange plays in three days in the opening series against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Coors Field. On Opening Day, April 1st, Cody Bellinger hit a ball that came in and out of his glove to end up over the fence, but baserunner Chris Turner, thinking he had caught the ball, retreated and crossed paths with Bellinger, putting him out and reducing the homer to a single. Two days later, it was rookie Zach McKinstry who hit a ball in the same spot; this time, he prevented the ball from going over the fence, but crashed into the fence and McKinstry ended up with an inside-the-park homer, ironically the first hit by the Dodgers that year as Bellinger's had been nullified. Tapia had to leave the game with an injury. The injury was not serious and he ended up playing 133 games for the Rockies, batting .273 with 6 homers and 50 RBI; he also stole a career-high 2 bases, in 26 attempts. His OPS+ was 80.
On March 24, 2022, he was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays along with minor league infielder Adrian Pena in return for OF Randal Grichuk. Grichuk was a better hitter, but the Jays were looking to have a more athletic player to be their fourth outfielder, in addition to a lefty hitter, a key consideration for a Jays team loaded with rightanders. The Blue Jays also threw in $9.7 million, representing roughly half of the value of the two years remaining on Grichuk's contract.
- NL Singles Leader (2020)
- Rob Gillies (Associated Press): "Blue Jays trade Grichuk and $9.7M to Rockies for Tapia", Yahoo! News, March 24, 2022. 
- Thomas Harding: "This big leaguer moonlights as a farmer", mlb.com, March 20, 2021. 
- Keegan Matheson: "Tapia traded to Blue Jays; Rox get Grichuk in return", mlb.com, March 24, 2022. 
We're Social...for Statheads
Every Sports Reference Social Media Account
Site Last Updated:
Question, Comment, Feedback, or Correction?
Subscribe to our Free Email Newsletter
This Month in Sports Reference
Find out when we add a feature or make a change
Do you have a sports website? Or write about sports? We have tools and resources that can help you use sports data. Find out more.