Trade aftermath: Betemit to Yanks

This will be the last deadline trade I’ll look at, as it’s the last one that has some semi-serious fantasy impact. Most of the smaller trades will be looked at in this week’s Waiver Wire.

Yankees get: 2B/3B/SS Wilson Betemit
Dodgers get: RP Scott Proctor
Quick outlook: Betemit gains a little value. Proctor gains value.
Indirectly affected: Melky Cabrera loses value.

It will be interesting to see how the Yankees use Betemit. It certainly won’t be at third. I hear they already have a guy over there who’s pretty good. His name’s Alex something or other. I’ve also heard he sucks, though… mostly from Yankee fans. I’m not sure what to believe. Digs at the stupidity of certain Yankees fans aside, Betemit probably has only a spot at first. How much he plays, though, is still up in the air.

However the Yankees use him, he’ll likely get more at-bats than he was getting with the Dodgers recently. When Jason Giambi comes back, the Yankees will be forced to either play Johnny Damon at first or bench Melky Cabrera and play Betemit. They could also use a combination of those options.

So who should they play? Melky is the better contact hitter, but Betemit has a 17% walk rate so far and is a much better power hitter. He’s hit seven home runs past 399 true feet, according to HitTracker. One went 444 true feet. Melky, on the other hand, has yet to hit one past 400 feet. Betemit also has the higher fly ball rate—41% to 27%. Of course, Betemit was hitting in the NL and Melky the AL, but I think the Yanks would be better off playing Betemit. What they actually do is yet to be seen.

As far as Betemit’s batting average, I think it is likely to come up given his 17% walk rate (although that is likely to see some regression) and low .268 BABIP. He’s only hit 15% line drives this year, but seeing as it was 25% and 21% in 2005 and 2006, there is room for improvement. His 70% contact rate will prevent him from hitting for a high average, but a .270 batting average wouldn’t be out of the question. Batting for the Yanks would give him some nice RBI and Run opportunities.

If Betemit falls into some regular playing time, he could be owned in 14-team mixed leagues. He should also be considered in 10 and owned in 12 and 14-team AL-only leagues.

Proctor moves to a weaker league, although he still shouldn’t really be owned. He gets very few ground balls and has shown poor control this year. He doesn’t strike out many batters for a reliever, either.

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