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Christian Bethancourt Ranked No. 7 Among Catching Prospects

January 24th, 2012 at 10:44 PM
By Cody Fields

Atlanta Braves prospect Christian Bethancourt has been ranked seventh among minor league catching prospects on mlb.com.

Bethancourt, a native of Panama, signed with the Braves at the age of 16 in 2008. Since then, though his bat has been slow to develop, Bethancourt has been lauded as having enormous potential and a possible successor to Brian McCann.

Starting in Low A-Rome in 2011, Bethancourt finally came around to hitting for average before getting promoted to High A-Lynchburg. Though he struggled at first in Lynchburg, he eventually came around to finish with a .271 average through 45 games. His bat has understandably been slow to develop, given the defensive tasks of catching to learn.

Bethancourt does not hit for power, which catchers rarely do, but the most important stat he could improve on is on-base percentage. Through 99 games in 2011 (split between two leagues), Bethancourt only drew 11 walks for a combined OBP of .304. That must change down the road.

More so known for his defense, Bethancourt is expected to be ready for the Major Leagues in four or five years.

Tags: Atlanta, Atlanta Braves, Christian Bethancourt, MLB

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