Braves promote Christian Bethancourt

The Braves have promoted a top prospect to the next level. Bill Shanks has more.

The Braves have promoted catcher Christian Bethancourt to High-A Lynchburg.

Bethancourt hit .303 in a return trip to Rome in the South Atlantic League after having a .251 average a season ago. He had four home runs and 33 RBI in 221 at bats, with a .323 on base percentage. Last year Bethancourt had three home runs and 34 RBI in 399 at bats, with a .276 on base percentage.

Since May 1, Bethancourt had hit .342 in 146 at bats. He was hitting .400 in June at the time of his promotion.

A scout who recently saw Bethancourt timed him at 1.69 to second base, which is unheard of with catchers. Pudge Rodriguez was timed around the same time in his heyday, and usually a 1.8 is considered very good.

"He's on another level defensively," the scout said. "Now he's learning how to hit. He's got a chance to be very, very good."

Bethancourt, a right-handed hitter, had trouble in Rome against southpaws. He hit only .119 against left-handers, with a .346 batting average against right-handers.

Bill Shanks hosts The Bill Shanks Show on WPLA Fox Sports 1670 in Macon, GA and WCOH Fox Sports 1400 in Newnan, GA. Shanks is a columnist for The Macon Telegraph. Email Bill at and follow him on Twitter at

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