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10/7/1992 (24 y, 4 m, 18 d)
2011 June Amateur Draft - Round: 5, Pick: 21, Overall: 172, Team: Boston Red Sox
$0.6M / 1 Years (2016)
Betts (knee) said recently that he will not face any restrictions at the start of spring training, Josh Brogadir of WCVB-TV Boston reports. (1/26/2017)
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(Click Year to Expand /
Selected in the fifth round of the 2011 draft out of a Tennessee high school, Betts was omitted from Baseball America's top prospect list entering the 2012 season. And also the 2013 season. And then finally appeared 75th on it before the 2014 campaign. Work by Kevin Creagh and Steve DiMiceli reveals that a hitting prospect ranked 75th on BA's annual list produces, on average, between four and five wins above replacement (WAR) over the first six years of his major-league career. To get a sense of where Betts fits within that model, consider that, were he to match exactly his Steamer projection for 2015, Betts would finish his
major-league season with roughly 4.5 career WAR. This isn't to suggest that BA's methodology is flawed, but rather to note the degree to which Betts has exceeded expectations. He does little at an elite level, but nearly everything -- including make contact, play defense, run the bases -- at an above-average one. Even his power at this point profiles as close to major-league average -- surprising, that, considering his diminutive frame. The most pressing question for Betts in 2015 concerns his defensive home. He's played second base in the minors, but Dustin Pedroia does that in the majors. Right field appears to be the position at which he'll receive the majority of his early season starts. If he hits, though, manager John Farrell et al. will find him a regular role of some sort. (Carson Cistulli)
The Quick Opinion:
A diminutive fifth-round pick unable to play a league-average major-leauge shortstop, Betts was never considered a top prospect. He has average or better skills in nearly all facets of the game, however, and is likely too valuable
to have a regular role with Boston this year.
The most expedient means by which to analyze Betts' 2015 campaign isn't to scrutinize this or that part of his game, but rather just to begin by slowly clapping -- just as one person in a crowd -- and not to stop until everyone gathered has happily joined in the applause. In his first full major league season, Betts exhibited the same sort of contact skills and footspeed that characterized his minor league career -- while also setting a career-high single-season mark for home runs. Both Steamer and ZiPS project him to produce a nearly 20-20 season. At least 15-15 would seem to be as likely for Betts as such a thing can be. After starting the 2014 season as a second baseman in the minor leagues and then the 2015 season as a center fielder in the majors, Betts appears likely to begin the 2016 campaign as a right fielder. The position is somewhat immaterial: he's a candidate to provide net-positive defensive value anywhere. (Carson Cistulli)
The Quick Opinion:
Betts produced roughly a five-win season in 2015. Despite a probable move from center to right field, little else ought to change for Boston's young star.
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Updated: Saturday, February 25, 2017 3:33 AM ET
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