MLB Trade Deadline: Tigers Upgrade at the Hot Corner with Wilson Betemit

Bleacher ReportContributor IIIJuly 21, 2011

Wilson Betemit
Wilson BetemitJustin Edmonds/Getty Images

The Tigers have had a black-hole at third base this season because of Brandon Inge's anemic performance at the plate. While Inge is considered a plus defender at the hot corner, he hit .177/.242/.242 with just one home run in 239 plate appearances. He amassed a -0.9 WAR over the course of this season. 

The trade market for third basemen is considered almost non-existent. With other clubs like the Brewers looking for help at the position, it is understandable why the Tigers were aggressive with Wilson Betemit. Betemit allows the Tigers to get some production out the position, as he collected three home runs with a .282/.341/.409 slash line. 

There is no question that Betemit is an offensive upgrade over Inge at this point, but Betemit will not continue to hit at .280 for the rest of this season. He has a .372 BABIP, but his 17.9 percent line drive rate is considered slightly below average. He strikes out way too often (25.7 percent), but does have a walk rate close to nine percent.

Betemit's power is nowhere to be seen this season. His ISO dropped from .214 to .128 this season (.158 for his career), and his HR/FB ratio is a career worst 5.3 percent. Furthermore, he will hurt the Tigers defensively at the hot corner.

His UZR/150 innings over his career is -13.1. He shouldn't commit a ton of errors at the position, but he is extremely limited in terms of range. 

With all of the negatives, Betemit should finish with a .260/.325/.420 line and six to eight home runs. The Tigers upgraded and will probably earn themselves an extra victory with this acquisition. That win may be all it takes to earn the title of AL Central Champion.