LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- While serving as a special instructor in Braves camp last week, Javy Lopez delivered a strong message to top catching prospect Christian Bethancourt, who has occasionally irked members of the organization with his body language and actions that could be perceived as lackadaisical.
"Javy talked to him a lot and helped him a lot," former Braves catcher and current bullpen coach Eddie Perez said. "Javy told him, 'I was stupid just like you.' When he asked what he meant, Javy explained to him that he didn't always carry himself the right way because he knew he was good and thought people should just adore him. Then he told him that he had to start working harder. And you know what, he's looked better the past three days."
Bethancourt certainly had reason to be humbled last year, when he hit .251 with just a .607 OPS in 108 games with Class A Rome. But there were times the then-18-year-old prospect showed some signs of laziness and cockiness.
Despite his troubles, there are many people in the Braves' organization who are still quite high on Bethancourt. The young Panamanian catcher has a strong arm and lanky frame that could certainly yield more consistent power as he ages.
"He's a good kid," Perez said. "Everybody knows that he's really good and he knows it. But he's OK. I really like him."