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August 2, 2013

The Call-Up

Chad Bettis

by Nick J. Faleris and Mike Gianella


The Situation: The Rockies optioned Jeff Francis to Triple-A on Thursday in order to give 2010 second rounder (and 77th overall selection) Chad Bettis the opportunity to make his first major league start.

Background: Bettis split time between the rotation and the closer role during his three years at Texas Tech, drawing mixed projections from scouts due to his big fastball/breaking ball combo being paired with a shorter stature, inconsistent command, and fringy third offering. The Rockies pegged him as a starter and have given him every opportunity to stick in that role as he worked through the developmental system.

Through his first 230-plus innings over 39 starts, Bettis dominated Class A ball at all three levels, missing bats, limiting walks, and allowing just 11 homers. His 2011 campaign at High-A Modesto was sadly cut short due to shoulder soreness, and he ended up missing all of 2012 after undergoing surgery.

His return to action in 2013 has been nothing shy of a rousing success. Bettis stepped right into the Double-A Tulsa rotation and shoved it over 12 starts. Through his 63 innings this summer, Bettis has notched 9.7 strikeouts per nine to go with a 1.10 WHIP. The former Red Raider is also producing 50 percent more groundouts than air outs, though he has been much more homer prone in the Texas League, and has been knocked around a bit with opponents batting .255 against him.

The Scouting: Bettis’s bread and butter is a three-way fastball that includes a cutter, a two-seamer with arm-side life, and a harder and straighter four-seamer. He tiers his velocity well with each variation, and the differing action across the three pitches can make the heater difficult to square in spite of the lack of downhill plane. Bettis can reach the upper-90s with the four-seamer, and operates comfortably in the low- to mid-90s.

His best secondary offering is a sharp, tilted slider that comes with hard bite and low- to mid-80s velocity. It’s a solid plus offering that can flash plus-plus and should provide Bettis with a second swing-and-miss offering at the highest level. His changeup has its moments, matching his two-seamer trajectory with arm-side action, but he is still working to implement the pitch as a consistent third weapon.

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<< Previous Article
Premium Article Minor League Update: G... (08/02)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article The Call-Up: Christian... (07/23)
Next Column >>
Premium Article The Call-Up: Wilmer Fl... (08/07)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Raising Aces: What Hap... (08/02)

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