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Articles Tagged Christian Bethancourt 

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There are two sides to every two-way player.

In one of the more pressing baseball debates of today, Meg Rowley and Patrick Dubuque present a point-counterpoint on Christian Bethancourt and fun.

Meg:

I hold what I imagine to be a minority opinion: I suspect that Christian Bethancourt being a so-so two-way player will be less fun than him being a mediocre position player who occasionally pitches. Not that it won’t be cool that he’s trying; just less fun.

Position players pitching is perfect. It’s the rare baseball moment when every possible outcome is good. We’ve removed stakes, and absent the potential to alter how the game ends, it can only change how the game feels. It’s like staring at one of those Magic Eye 3D posters: amid what was chaos, an image of healing comes into focus, sketched out in pitcher form.

Imagine our guy fails; that’s easy, we assumed he would. We’re granted permission to enjoy his failure, to find notes of humor and self-awareness because what he’s really doing is performing a service. This is an act of care disguised as embarrassment. There is no winning in these moments, which also means there is no losing. The losing has already been done. Position players pitched 22.1 innings in 2016; they allowed 14 earned runs. Some of those were probably the result of indifferent defense, but I couldn’t be bothered to investigate which ones. Who cares?

Two different teams threw Erik Kratz out there. We’re working with different standards of success. We look on these performances and revel in the fact that they contain all the components of throwing a baseball. Our guy got the ball to the catcher’s mitt (when he doesn’t it’s funnier), and got his outs (exect when they don’t and smile knowingly), and if he gave up a few runs along the way (he often will), well, that’s part of pitching, too. Only his job isn’t to pitch, so we don’t have to be mad about it.

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March 2, 2017 6:00 am

Guarding The Lines: Bethancourt is in Season

5

Jarrett Seidler

Christian Bethancourt is an anomaly in today's game. Who might follow in his footsteps?

Christian Bethancourt made his 2017 Cactus League debut yesterday, going one inning and allowing no hits and no runs, while touching 96 mph. Well, that was his pitching debut; on Monday he made his hitting debut, starting at DH and going 0-for-1 with a walk. Welcome to the brave new world where the Padres are preparing the same player to be their backup catcher, fifth outfielder, and a key middle reliever, all at the same time.

Once upon a time, in the Atlanta system, Bethancourt was a good catching prospect. He ranked as high as 87th on our top 101 prospect list before 2014, always hitting a little and flashing a rocket arm that caused scouts to project him as a high-end major league defender. It turned out that defensive projection missed that Bethancourt is a poor pitch framer, aggregating -7.3 FRAA in about a full season’s worth of playing time over the past three seasons between Atlanta and San Diego. He’s also hit a meager .223/.253/.318 in that time span, and while he’s only 25 and catcher development can be weird, conventionally speaking Christian Bethancourt is perilously close to being no more than fringe backup. Except he still has that rocket arm...

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The Padres acquire the Braves' young backstop, the Halos grab Yunel Escobar, the Astros re-up with Tony Sipp, and much more.

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January 17, 2014 6:32 am

Dynasty League Positional Rankings: Top 50 Catchers

18

Bret Sayre

From Buster Posey to Christian Bethancourt, this list is loaded with both big leaguers and high-upside prospects.

The Primer:
Because dynasty league rankings are relatively league dependent, I set up parameters for ranking the players below (and the ones who will follow at other positions). The list here presupposes a 16-team standard dynasty format, in which there are no contracts/salaries, players can be kept forever, and owners have minor-league farm systems in which to hoard prospects. Feel free to adjust this as necessary for your individual league, whether it’s moving non-elite prospects without 2014 ETAs down if you don’t have separate farm teams or moving lower-risk, lower-reward players up in deeper mixed or league–only formats.

The catcher position is a tricky one, as there are a lot of players at or near the top of the list who may be playing another position in three or so years. That, plus with most leagues using one active catcher, prospects are featured a little more prominently due to both the major-league depth right now and the fact that there are diminishing returns to carrying too many backstops.


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January 15, 2014 6:00 am

Get to Know: Catcher Prospects

9

Ben Carsley

A look at the young backstops working their way through the pipeline and what they might one day bring to your fantasy squad.

Ah, catching prospects. The sirens of the fantasy prospecting world. One look at those among the current crop of backstops who qualify as “fantasy relevant” will make any owner yearn for more talent and a deeper pool of names, which makes these minor leaguers even more attractive. After all, the average triple-slash line for all catchers in the majors was .245/.310/.344. How hard can it be for the next wave of catchers to top that?

The answer, of course, is very hard. The path to MLB catching stardom is fraught with more perils than the trek to any other position, and patience, above all else, is a virtue when courting young catching talent. Fast movers like Buster Posey are extreme outliers. Good overall players like Mike Zunino get overrated in fantasy circles. And offense-first names like Jesus Montero see their deficiencies ignored as we instead focus on the potential for future excellence.

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Notes on 10 prospects, including Christian Bethancourt, Gregory Polanco, Jonathan Singleton.

Thursday, November 28th

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September 10, 2013 6:00 am

The Call-Up: Christian Bethancourt

0

Jason Cole and Paul Sporer

The Braves call up a glove-first catcher of the future with the offensive potential to be an everyday guy.

The Situation: With an NL East crown all but officially secured, the Braves have called up top catching prospect Christian Bethancourt to give him a taste of major-league life. While Atlanta already has three capable catchers on its roster, Bethancourt should still get a few in-game looks this month as the club begins to evaluate its potential 2014 catching corps. Perennial All-Star backstop Brian McCann appears set to test the free-agent waters this offseason, and while Evan Gattis and Gerald Laid will remain under team control, Bethancourt is considered the Braves’ catcher of the future. If McCann is wearing another uniform next season, Bethancourt’s readiness––or lack thereof––will play a key role in determining what the club does behind the plate in 2014. The Braves could potentially acquire a stopgap to give Bethancourt a year in Triple-A, rely on the Gattis/Laird combo, or roll with the 22-year-old prospect.

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August 30, 2013 7:41 am

Fantasy Fool's Gold: Catcher and First Base Prospects

12

Ben Carsley

In the debut edition of this column, Ben breaks down the future dynasty-league value of five minor leaguers, including one backstop and four first basemen.

The majority of fantasy baseball players on the planet only need to worry about a pool of 300-400 major leaguers. The world is filled with normal people who just want to fill out a starting lineup with household names, make a few savvy pickups, and beat the competition to a promising youngster or two as the season progresses.

This will not be a series for such people.

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August 12, 2013 6:34 am

Minor League Update: Games of August 9-11

7

Zach Mortimer

A look at the prospects who stood out during the past weekend.

Games of Friday, August 9

Pitching Prospect of the Day: Tanner Peters, RHP, Athletics (High-A Stockton): 8.1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 14 K. Peters has a fastball that works in the upper 80s/low 90s with good command, a potential plus changeup, and a developing curveball. He may not be the brightest prospect, but a start like this is impressive.

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March 13, 2013 5:00 am

Top Tools: Glove

52

BP Prospect Staff

The minor leagues' best defenders in the infield, outfield, and behind the plate.

Infield

Top Infield Defender in the Minor Leagues: Jose Iglesias (Boston Red Sox)

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November 7, 2012 5:00 am

Minor League Update: Games of November 6

1

Jason Martinez

Notes on 8 minor leaguers playing in the Arizona Fall League and Dominican Winter League.

The general manager meetings start today! Here's hoping we have a few free-agent signings and trades to make my day more interesting until it's time to work on the Minor League Update again.

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