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2015 MLB Draft Profile: Chris Betts, C, Wilson HS (Long Beach, CA)

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Rated as one of the top prep hitters in the class since very early in the pre-draft process, Betts has maintained his stock and is expected to be a first round pick in June.

Measurables

Height: 6'2"

Weight: 210

60 yard dash: 7.55 seconds (recorded by Perfect Game)

Max OF throw velocity: 89 MPH (recorded by Perfect Game)

Max C throw velocity: 84 MPH (recorded by Perfect Game)

Best pop time: 1.90 seconds (recorded by Perfect Game)

Summary

A big bodied high school prospect with "baseball athleticism," Chris Betts wields a high upside bat with some of the best power in the prep class. Currently a catcher, Betts is limited in terms of potential defensive positions but shows some promise as a backstop and has a bat that could play at first base, DH or a corner outfield spot if catching doesn't work for him long term. Betts is a well below average runner, but he shows flexibility and lower body athleticism behind the dish. His arm behind the plate isn't the strongest, but his explosive pop-up, solid throwing accuracy and quick release allow him to achieve strong pop times in spite of that. Betts may not be Austin Hedges on defense, but there is a reasonable chance that he can stay there long term if the team that drafts him is patient.

At the plate is where Betts really shines. He has a quiet swing for a power hitter, keeping his hands close to his body and employing a short, simple swing path that allows him to cover the plate well. Balance through the swing is an important trait for hitters, and Betts shows it. His hips work extremely well, exploding through the ball and generating significant power. Though Betts' pop is his best tool, his contact hitting ability should not be understated- his straightforward stroke and coordination as a hitter are both positives. Betts has the look of a potential 5-hole hitter with his combination of power, patience and capable contact hitting.

Betts' placement on teams' boards is sure to vary quite a bit based on where they seem him factoring in defensively in the long term. If he is able to stay at catcher, he could have all-star potential, but that is far from a certainty for any catching prospect whose bat stands out over their glove. Regardless, Betts' potential 50/60 hit and power tools make him a very strong prospect regardless of where he is on the diamond.

MLB Projection

Betts' bat should make him a major league player assuming he can make the necessary adjustments to professional pitching. His overall upside is tied to his defensive home- at catcher, it is very high. He is somewhat comparable to current Astro Evan Gattis, but has more natural receiving talent as a backstop.

Projected Draft Round

It has been rare for prep catchers to go especially high in recent years- even the top level ones such as Reese McGuire. Despite that, Betts should go somewhere between the mid-first round and supplemental round.

College Commitment

Tennessee

Will he sign?

Betts is expected to sign assuming he gets first-round money.

Video

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