In an effort to keep the Atlanta Braves close to our hearts and minds during this time, we review their top prospects from each year between 2001-2010, according to Baseball Prospectus.
Atlanta Braves fans are certainly excited about the group of prospects in the farm system. Cristian Pache has us all wondering about where his ceiling is and how he’ll look when he finally arrives in Cobb County. There are rarely certain bets when assessing prospects in baseball. With that in mind, we take a trip through time and look at how the Braves’ number one prospect from each year between 2001-2010 has performed.
We begin with the reign of Wilson Betemit.
2001-2003: Wilson Betemit
Incredibly, Betemit was signed by the Braves at just 14-years-old. Once this came to light, the Braves were fined $100,000 and were banned from scouting Dominican players for half of a year. So, Betemit began playing Rookie Ball at the age of 15-years-old in 1997.
As expected, he struggled through his first two seasons as a young teenager. In 1999, at the age of 17, Betemit began to come into his own. He slashed .320/.383/.463 for Danville.
He was promoted to Low-A in 2000 at the age of 18 where he continued to excel, slashing .331/.393/.457.
In 2001, Wilson Betemit came in as the 35th best prospect in the game according to Baseball Prospectus. 2B Marcus Giles could be found just three spots later. Betemit would work his way up to Double-A in 2001 and even earn a cup of joe in the big leagues, making his debut on September 18, 2001.
Wilson Betemit had worked his way up to the fifth-best prospect in all of baseball, just ahead of players like Carlos Pena, Mark Texiera, and Jake Peavy.
Wilson Betemit again found himself as the highest-rated Braves prospect, but he had dropped to their 31st spot on the list. An honorable mention for Atlanta in the 2003 Top 40 was starting pitcher Adam Wainwright.
Betemit would end up logging 233 games as an Atlanta Brave and hit a respectable .281 for the team. He contributed to both the 13th and 14th consecutive division titles for the Braves in 2004 and 2005. Betemit was one of 17 rookies to help the Braves make up an 11.5 game deficient in 2005.
Betemit didn’t just take up a roster spot that season, he hit .305 in 115 games and made the postseason roster.
He would be traded in 2006 and finished an 11-year career with a .267 batting average and a 104 OPS+. Not too shabby. Thanks for the help in 2005! What a season that was.