Prospect Watch: Christian Bethancourt, C
Christian Bethancourt has been thought of as one of the better prospects in the Braves organizations for the past few years, but hasn’t really produced as much as expected. That has changed this year, and the catcher is on his way to becoming a top notch prospect around baseball.
After posting a slash of .251/.276/.331 with three homers last year, Bethancourt has started off this season with a slash of .295/.315/.422 with four homers and 35 RBI through 58 games.
Bethancourt has big time potential offensively since he will be playing this majority of this season at 19. He also has a good arm behind the plate and will stick there throughout his professional career.
His age also may be an answer to the question of his lack of patience at this current time, because it doesn’t appear to be very good as of now. It should get better as he gets older, but he will likely always be a big of a free swinger.
Bethancourt is probably three years away from making an impact at the major league level. He was recently called up to high-A Lynchburg, so he still has a couple of levels to jump and prove himself before taking on big league pitching.
Bethancourt is one of the foursome that the Braves have that appear to be legitimate major league position players in the future, joining Edward Salcedo, Matt Lipka, and Tyler Pastornicky. This makes him a pretty important part of the organization, but it doesn’t mean he is untouchable for other teams.
Bethancourt has the potential to have gigantic value at the major league level. He could be a .280 hitter with 20 homer power and good overall defense. He’s one of the top catching prospects in the game, especially those under the age of 20.
There have been some thoughts that Bethancourt will be trade bait in the near future. Brian McCann is just 27 years old and is in the prime of his career. McCann is one of the most important parts of the Braves’ future, which leaves Bethancourt on the outside looking in.
If the Braves decide to keep him around, and I hope that he does, then he could be a very valuable member of the next Braves era and could one day become a force in the Show.