In further trade action, the Milwaukee Brewers have traded veteran closer Francisco Rodriguez to the Detroit Tigers for infield prospect Javier Betancourt. Here's a quick take on the newest member of the Brewers farm system.
Javier Betancourt, 2B: The Tigers signed Betancourt out of Venezuela in 2011 for $200,000. He emerged with a strong 2013 season in rookie ball, hitting .333/.379/.441, then jumped to Low-A in 2014 and performed adequately in the Midwest League, hitting .269/.307/.344 while drawing good reviews for his glovework. In 2015 he hit .263/.304/.336 with 17 doubles, three homers, 29 walks and 44 strikeouts in 491 at-bats for Lakeland in the High-A Florida State League.
Betancourt is a 20-year-old right-handed hitter, listed at 6-0, 180. His statistics are nothing special to this point but he makes ready contact and has a better eye for the strike zone than his low walk totals imply. He hasn't shown much power but it is plausible he can develop some as he matures physically, at least enough to hold the respect of pitchers at higher levels. He is young enough to improve considerably.
Betancourt's uncle is former major leaguer Edgardo Alfonso and the bloodlines show in his instincts. His arm is strong enough for shortstop but his organic range is stretched at that position. As a result the Tigers used him at second base this year, but his hands and instincts work perfectly there; some sources felt he was the best defensive second baseman in the Florida State League.