Scouting Prospect #37: Christian Bethancourt

We recently released our annual top 100 prospects list here at, and to follow that up we will be providing team quality first-hand scouting reports on select prospects from that list over the course of the off-season. Here's a scouting report on prospect #37 from that list, Christian Bethancourt.

Name: Christian Bethancourt
Position: Catcher
Team: Atlanta Braves
Height: 6-foot-2
Weight: 190
Bats/Throws: R/R

Events Scouted: Arizona Fall League

Physical Description

At 20-years-old, Bethancourt is beginning to mature very quickly. He's been very thin for the last couple years but looks to have packed on 20 pounds in the last year. He looks strong both in appearance and in the way he's driving the ball at the plate.


It's been a wait and see type situation when it comes to Bethancourt's bat the last couple seasons. But, late in 2011, including the AFL, something may have clicked. His swing mechanics are more consistent and he's swinging the bat with more authority now. Just how much he improves remains to be seen, but his bat is no longer a question mark.


Bethancourt has shown very little power in the past, but all of a sudden he found the power stroke in late 2011. He's driving the ball out of the park to the middle of the field and his fly balls are showing a second gear they've never shown before. We may see a big spike in his home run totals in 2012.


How long his speed will last remains to be seen, but Bethancourt is an above average runner currently. But, as a catcher it's rare to see even an athletic catcher like Bethancourt maintain his speed over the long haul.


Bethancourt's throwing arm arguably is as strong as any catcher in the professional baseball. He consistently posts some staggering pop times and he's getting more and more accurate as he matures. His ability to call a game and work with pitchers still needs work, but he has shown improvement in that area as well. His agility and throwing arm could make him a special defensive talent.


Bethancourt's stronger frame may be the key to taking the next step in his game. He's beginning to drive the ball to all parts of the park and he's showing some very impressive pull power. He's still learning how to be a polished receiver behind the plate, but his fantastic raw skills, including his plus-plus arm will make him an elite big league backstop one day. Given the offensive upside he's beginning to show, he looks like a superb big league regular in the making.

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