Bethancourt has still not hit since this article was written almost exactly two years ago, but yet the Braves are clearly ready to move forward with the young catcher as their everyday starter. Defensive first catchers are not all bad. The Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina started out as a defense only catcher when he was first called up, but has progressed significantly with the bat over the past decade. Time will tell whether Bethancourt will ever hit in the Majors, but he is one of the few players I would sit down and watch just to see him field. It won't be long before opposing teams stop running on the strong armed catcher.....
Meanwhile the new Braves catcher has a few baseball cards that you should be sure to check out. I know that collectors avoid one tool prospects, unless that tool is hitting home runs, but I am going to go ahead and say yes for collecting Bethancourt cards. Here are a few reasons why....
1. A Plethora of Affordable/Attractive On-Card Autographs
Say that's a nice looking card up there. It cost me less than $5 shipped and features an on-card autograph of a starting player for a Major League Baseball team. Bethancourt actually has about half a dozen autographs in all, the majority are on-card autographs and rarely cost more than $10. The vast majority of these cards are similar in price to this copy of a Topps Finest autograph I picked up around the new year. What's not to like? Say Yes.
2. Loads of Cool Rookie Cards
Bethancourt's first year on cardboard was 2012. He's in the usual sets for a young guy in the minors: Bowman, Bowman Chrome, Bowman Platinum, Topps Heritage Minors, Pro Debut, etc. If you go on Ebay and search the completed items for Bethancourt rookie cards the most expensive items are around $30 and that is for a Triple Threads White Whale Autograph/Patch thing. So, everything else slides down from there. If you just want a cool looking Heritage Minors card of a defense first catcher wearing his gear it's going to cost you one dollar. Again, a great reason to say yes to collecting Christian Bethancourt.
3. Collect Someone for a Different Reason
Yes, the ratio of baseball cards to baseball videos is equal in this blog post, but watch that throw again. Incredible. Some of the funnest players to collect are the guys that do not hit for the most power, take home MVP trophies, or have cards that cost $200. Sometimes it's cool to just say:
"Hey, I saw that guy when he was a minor leaguer"
"This guy has a cannon of an arm, let's buy his cards"
"You want to trade for _________ (insert expensive player), I am looking for a good Bethancourt"
Let's face it, I have plenty of players in my collection I collect just because....Ray Lankford, Justin Ruggiano, and loads of other guys. Bethancourt is just going to be the latest. Yes.