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Braves catcher prospect Christian Bethancourt
Bethancourt may not fall under the "must" call up category, but he appears to have a bright future.
Both David Ross and Brian McCann have struggled on and off in the past with various injuries, but Atlanta has been patient with the 20-year-old Bethancourt, not wanting to start his major league clock just yet and use up an option year.
Instead, career minor leaguer JC Boscan has seen recent call-ups.
That won't continue for very long.
The question with most young catchers coming up through a system is whether they'll stick behind the plate, either because of suspect defensive abilities or because of a bat that profiles better at an infield corner.
Bethancourt, who will be playing in the 2012 MLB Futures Game in Kansas City this July, is widely considered one of the best defensive prospects behind the plate in all of baseball. He possesses a strong arm and an advanced ability to block balls in the dirt.
The concern with Christian is his ability and approach at the plate. At Double-A Mississippi this season, Bethancourt is walking only 3.8 percent of the time, and his slash line of .255/.283/.276 is really quite awful.
Atlanta may just have to accept that he's not much of a hitter, but he could be valuable later this season as a defensive replacement.