Catching prospect Bethancourt breaks hand

Catching prospect Bethancourt breaks hand

NEW YORK -- Christian Bethancourt, the Braves' top catching prospect, broke his left hand when he was hit with a pitch while batting in the 13th inning of Double-A Mississippi's game against Birmingham on Thursday night.

Bethancourt is in a cast and will be evaluated next week by Braves' hand specialist Dr. Gary Lourie. The Braves are hoping that Bethancourt will recover in time to play somewhere this winter.

Bethancourt is ranked by MLB.com as the game's fourth-best catching prospect. The athletic 20-year-old catcher possesses a strong arm that has caught the attention of many, including Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, who won four Gold Glove Awards as a Major League catcher.

Offensively, Bethancourt still has some room for development. He's batted .243 with two home runs and a .566 OPS in 71 games with Mississippi this year.