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‘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.

16 Responses

    • Oregon Nut Cups

      Oregon Nut Cups says:
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      @quimmy, Mimicry is a form of flattery. Oh and Grey did not write this article, I did :)

  1. Precisely why I paid $9 for him in AL LABR last night. If you look at his numbers vs RHP over the past two seasons, he is one of the too 40 run producers in baseball but is constantly overlooked.

    • Oregon Nut Cups

      Oregon Nut Cups says:
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      @Jason Collette, He may still get overlooked this year but so far there’s no one in the lineup to make him so. Just a guy who needs some ABs to prove it either way.

  2. Bourne says:
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    Aiii! While it is a nice idea, he couldn’t beat out Brandon Inge last year. Oh wait, that was Leyland’s love of resting his players fault.

    We Tigers fans were calling for him to get regular time last year pretty much day-to-day when he was on the bench.

    • Oregon Nut Cups

      Oregon Nut Cups says:
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      @Bourne, Yeah, constantly overlooked seems to be his MO, career-wise. Hard to see who is going to hold him back in Baltimore but you never know.

  3. chata says:
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    thought his best chances for playing time was after the
    2005 season , when he batted over .300

    since then , despite his 3b/ss eligibility , he has been nothing more
    than a “bit player” , serving under a half dozen different managers
    and picking up some time @ 1st base .

    flashing signs of proficiency with the bat , in hindsight , perhaps a
    better career move would have been to hook up with the rockies ,
    when he was still young enough to play every day .

    is leyland to blame ?
    no .
    will he get 250+ at-bats in baltimore ??
    maybe .
    draft-able in mixed leagues ???
    decidedly not .

    • Oregon Nut Cups

      Oregon Nut Cups says:
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      @chata, It’s a deep league call more so than a standard mixed league call. In standard leagues, you don’t have to dig very far for 3B production this year.

      At 30, I wouldn’t call him over the hill. Mike Morse was just getting started at that age :) Right now, there isn’t anyone holding him back in Baltimore from getting at-bats. If he sticks in the starting lineup, the numbers I’ve listed aren’t extraordinary, just useful. Someone out there is going to draft David Freese hoping for 20/80 with a .290 average and 150 games. Betemit might provide that minus the average and at less of a cost. I’m willing to keep my eye on him in mixed and to draft him in deep leagues where you play two at each infield position.

  4. royce! says:
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    I’m trying to follow through with this metaphor…Grey is the Eye of Sauron (though “slightly less malicious”) and you are sheer, evil genius…My guess is that Steve will save this fantasy universe. Thanks, Steve!

    • Oregon Nut Cups

      Oregon Nut Cups says:
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      @royce!, haha, go Steve indeed!

  5. Mark says:
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    Shhh about Baltimore’s open DH.

    No, Matt Wieters won’t be playing there on his off days. 600 Plate Appearances? Psh, cha, shut up. Never would have dreamed such a thing. Oh, hmmm, I wonder who I should draft with my seventh round pick. I’ve heard some good things about this Matt Wieters kid. I’ll give him a shot.

    • Oregon Nut Cups

      Oregon Nut Cups says:
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      @Mark, I like your bullish idea about Wieters this year. My only problem is putting him more and more at the DH puts Ronny Paulino and Taylor Teagarden more and more in the 9th spot of that lineup and we all know thats Andino’s sweetspot :). He had 551 last year, so 600 isn’t out of the realm of possibility but I would not count on it.

      What would make sense is DH Wieters on days where they face LHP and put Paulino – he of the .330 career average vs LHP – behind the plate on those days. Other days of the week, rotate Betemit, Reynolds and Davis to keep them fresh.

      • Mark says:
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        @Oregon Nut Cups, agreed, I’m not counting on 600 PAs, but I do think people are underestimating the possibility. Even if he just DHs against lefties, he could well finish in the top 2 or 3 among catchers in PAs, which is a huge part of catcher value in fantasy. The only other guy who might get there (beside Santana and Wieters) is Jesus Montero, while Mauer and Posey are pretty distant longshots and there’s alsomst zero chance guys like Avila, McCann, and Miguel Montero do.

        • Oregon Nut Cups

          Oregon Nut Cups says:
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          @Mark, definitely agree with you on that sentiment. It’s why I don’t usually draft catchers in the first 10 rounds, personally. Their chance at injury is higher due to the nature of the biz. I always love a catcher who’s not a catcher; it’s why I’m going to try and get Doumit in my two catcher league this year.

          Did find myself taking Jesus Montero in a mock when he was left for me in the 15th round in a one C league but I rarely find a top 10 C on my team unless my late round gambles pay off.

          • Mark says:
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            @Oregon Nut Cups, Yeah I tend to agree, I never drafted the top guys in the past unless someone really seemed to fall (McCann would occasionally), and would try to shy away from taking one in the first 10 rounds, but I’m really high on Wieters this year. I love when guys improve their power and strikeout rates in the same year, especially former top prospects who are still pretty young but haven’t had a massive breakout yet. Add it that Wieters is possibly the best hitter on a team with no DH that plays in a very friendly home park and ADPs in the 80-110 range (depending on where you look), and its a pretty nice situation. Its counter to my general strategy, but this year I’m trying to get Wieters on every one of my teams. I’m pretty comfortable expecting a conservative .270-70-70-20, and I think he has the best chance of anyone this side of Santana and Napoli to finish the year as the #1 catcher with some crazy like .300-100-90-30 line or something.

  6. Oregon Nut Cups

    Oregon Nut Cups says:
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    I do wish you luck on that and I can see the storyline based on the numbers you mention. Wieters does have a great shot at moving up into the upper tier based on his talent, no question about it.

    Those catchers as DH stories do make me think though: are the Orioles getting full value for having a top end catcher playing DH a lot? It’s why you see guys like Mauer and Posey back behind the plate and not moved off their positions. The total package is what makes them so valuable, not just the bat. It is one reason I’m frustrated as a Mariners fan with the Pineda for Montero trade. He’s a bad catcher and has no other position. So unless he’s the second coming of Edgar Martinez, I question if we’re getting full value for Pineda.

    Like I said, though, best of luck. For your sake, I hope he pans out the way you’re looking for him to. I just know he won’t be on my team unless there’s an extreme discount.

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