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How Good An Investment Is This?

A Look at Wilson Betemit

Wilson Betemit now has 527 career at-bats, 32 of them for his new team the Dodgers, the rest for the Braves. His career line:

.279/.340/.436, 30 doubles, 15 homers, 57 RBI, 50 walks, 139 strikeouts in 527 at-bats over 241 games.

He hit .305/.359/.435 last year for Atlanta, and is at .277/.340/.498 this year between his two teams. Although his batting average was higher last year, he has spiked more power this year, resulting in an actual OPS increase from .794 to .838. There is some confusion about his birthday which we are trying to clear up in the comments.

Betemit was a frustrating prospect to analyze. At times he looked like a potential star when he was in the minors. Initially he was a high-average hitter with moderate power, but as he moved up the ladder his batting average dropped off. You can see his complete minor league record by clicking here

The grades I gave him:
2000 Minor League Scouting Notebook: Grade B-
2001 MLSN: Grade B+
2002 MLSN: Grade A-
2003 Baseball Prospect Book: Grade B
2004 BPB: Grade B-
2005 BPB: Grade C+

He exceeded my expectations last year, re-emerging as an exciting young player. Based on his Triple-A numbers in '03 and '04, I didn't think there was anyway he would hit over .300 in the majors, or approach a .500 SLG this year, but he's shown renewed skill growth.

Baseball Prospectus' PECOTA system (used here with the kind permission of BP) also seemed to have a difficult time with Betemit. The weighted mean of his various percentile projections heading into 2006 was .275/.339/.432, which he's exceeded. His "breakout rate" was good at 25%, but he also had a "collapse rate" of 30%, meaning that the chance that he would fall apart compared to last year was somewhat greater than the chance that he'd have a huge breakout. His list of PECOTA comparables is all over the place, ranging from Ron Oester to Eduardo Perez, Jose Castillo to German Rivera, Lee Stevens to Felipe Lopez. A huge range of possible outcomes!

I really have no idea what to expect from Betemit. So let's start a conversation about him. What do YOU guys think Betemit's career will look like? Will his power continue to increase? How will he deal with Dodger Stadium?