The Braves have traded former top prospect Christian Bethancourt to the Padres. C-Beth has had problems with his hitting, defense, and ability to manage a staff. His only success has been with his laser arm and ability to throw out baserunners, but the passed balls and poor bat left much to be desired. Scouts raved about his power, but his first home run only came in his 2nd MLB season; he finished the season with 2. Bethancourt was sent to AAA mid season in 2015 and had a lot of success, hitting .327 and improving on defense. It didn’t transition to the MLB. After all, we got a lot of potential for our 3rd string catcher, more than I thought we would get.
In 2014, C-Beth hit .248 with no home runs. At that point, he was still developing and it was acceptable. In 2015, he hit .200 with 2 HRs and a slew of errors. He wasn’t getting along with the staff, he wasn’t playing hard, we had too many men on the 40 man roster, and the bottom line is: He needed to go.
Let’s get to the return:
RHP Casey Kelly
Kelly, like C-Beth, is another prospect who never lived up to the hype. Kelly was taken 30th overall in 2008 by Boston, and was a big piece in the Adrian Gonzalez deal that saw Kelly sent to the Padres. At one point, Kelly was the #10 prospect in all of baseball. After a tough minor league career, Kelly has a career 2-5 record with a 6.69 ERA over 8 starts. Yikes. An interesting note about Kelly; his first career win was in his debut against the Braves. Kelly has been moved to the bullpen after undergoing Tommy John’s Surgery, and looks to be a promising reliever who is getting a fresh start.
C Ricardo Rodriguez
Finally, the Braves snag a young catching prospect. Ricardo is only 17 years old, but he’s fairly big at 175 pounds. He’s only 5’10”, but that never seemed to bother Pudge. In 2015, his first year of minor league ball, he hit .266 with 2 home runs in 30 games. Those are promising numbers, and I think we can develop Rodriguez into a nice backstop. There’s not much on him, and he’s not ranked on the Padres prospect list, mainly because he is 17. Don’t expect to see Rodriguez anytime soon. However, he was the #21 ranked International Prospect in 2014.