Now Commenting On:

{"event":["prospect" ] }

Triple-A prospect Bethancourt heating up

Triple-A prospect Bethancourt heating up play video for Triple-A prospect Bethancourt heating up

After a career year in 2013 that saw him reach the big leagues for the first time in September, many thought Braves catching prospect Christian Bethancourt would be ready to take over full time in Atlanta for Brian McCann, who left via free agency. Bethancourt, ranked No. 76 on MLB.com's Top 100 Prospects list and No. 2 on the Braves' Top 20, hadn't played above Double-A, however, and was sent down to Triple-A after a 3-for-18 showing in big league camp this Spring Training.

That sluggish start carried over into the beginning of his International League season, and he was hitting just .186/.238/.220 after an 0-for-4 showing on April 28. It's been a different story since, as the No. 5 ranked catching prospect in the game went 3-for-4 on Sunday, including his first home run of the year, to cap off a torrid four-game stretch.

Bethancourt got a day off from catching on April 29, but he was in the lineup at DH and responded by going 2-for-5. He followed that up with another two-hit performance and a 1-for-3 day on May 2. Adding his Sunday exploits, he's gone eight for his last 14, with five runs, a home run and six RBIs over the last four games. In that span, the 22-year-old Panamanian has raised his batting average from that .186 all the way to .253. He's added more than 100 points to his slugging percentage as well, from .220 to .347.

Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com and writes a blog, B3. Follow @JonathanMayoB3 on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{"event":["prospect" ] }
{"event":["prospect" ] }
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español