‘How could anything get past Grey Albright!’ you say in an incredulous tone. It’s true, it is very hard to sneak out from under Grey’s all-seeing ways. He is the fantasy baseball equivalent of the Eye of Sauron, though slightly less malicious. But we here at Deep League Thoughts (like how I tied my previous title into it’s own thinktank like it’s not just one lunatic behind these posts? Genius. Sheer, evil genius.) believe that sometimes all a guy needs is a chance for 500 ABs and Wilson Betemit could be an example of that.
Yes, I know, you just threw up in your mouth a little seeing Betemit as the title of this post. It’s ok, go rinse your mouth out, have a few saltine crackers and drink some 7-Up to calm your stomach. Feeling better? Now Mr. Wilson was supposed to be the next big thing at SS for the Braves in 1996, back when both he and I were pimply-faced teenagers. Now as a pimply-faced adult, I look back at Betemit’s career to see what went so wrong and truthfully it’s not easy to tell. His skill set is the same now as it was back then. He’s bad at defense, can’t hit lefties and strikes out a lot. He seemed relegated to the role of futility player no matter where he went. But over the last couple of years, Wilson has been able to put together quite a few at-bats, amassing 674 ABs between the Royals and the Tigers. Over that span, he’s managed to hit 21 HRs and 89 RBIs all while being a part-timer. Looking all the way back to the one season – 2006 between two teams – where he garnered at least 400 at-bats, he had 18 HRs with a palatable .263 batting average and a .469 SLG%. Now he’s in Baltimore, a place where strike-out artisans such as Mark Reynolds and Chris Davis have come to fan. ‘But wait’ you say, ‘don’t those two play Betemit’s two main positions now at 1st and 3rd?’. Very astute of you. But you know what other role Betemit can play? Designated Hitter.
Yes, at the moment, there is not any clear DH seemingly available to Baltimore right now. Maybe Nick Markakis takes that role for a bit when he returns, but their OF is thin. I have a hard time seeing that happening for long if at all. Let’s not forget Chris Davis is being given a chance at 1st and has proven nothing. If he doesn’t pan out, Reynolds can move to first and they can put Betemit back at 3rd. I’m not one to make bold predictions but if Baltimore’s lineup shakes out the way it is seeming like it could, I don’t see why Betemit isn’t somewhere in the 4~6 spot of that order, getting 450 ABs and hitting 20 HRs while driving in 80 RBI with a .260 average. Don’t like that? Well, go draft Martin Prado then while I hurl. Now hand me those saltines, please.