Wilson Betemit

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Wilson Betemit
Wilson Betemit on April 24, 2012.jpg
Betemit with the Baltimore Orioles
Tampa Bay Rays
Third Baseman
Born: (1981-11-02) November 2, 1981 (age 32)
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Bats: Switch Throws: Right
MLB debut
September 18, 2001 for the Atlanta Braves
Career statistics
(through 2013 season)
Batting average .267
Home runs 75
Runs batted in 283
On-base plus slugging .774
Teams

Wilson Betemit (pronounced BET-a-mitt)[1] (born November 2, 1981) is a Dominican professional baseball infielder in the Tampa Bay Rays organization. He is 6'2" and weighs 220 pounds. He has previously played for the Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees, Chicago White Sox, Kansas City Royals, Detroit Tigers and Baltimore Orioles.

Baseball career[edit]

Betemit is a 1996 graduate of Jurczak High School, where he played baseball. He was signed as an undrafted free agent shortstop by the Atlanta Braves on July 28, 1996 when he was 14 and a half years old. According to Major League Baseball's age restrictions regarding the signing of minors, teams are not allowed to sign anyone under the age of sixteen. Because of this rule violation, the Braves were fined $100,000 and prohibited from scouting and signing players from the Dominican Republic for six months in 2000.[2]

Atlanta Braves[edit]

He began his professional career in 1997 with the Gulf Coast Braves.

In 1999, he was the Player of the Year for the Danville Braves of the Rookie League, and Appalachian League All-Star shortstop after batting .320 in 67 games, though he made 33 errors in 67 games.

In 2000, with the Jamestown Jammers, he hit .331 and was named the Braves' # 1 Minor League Prospect by Baseball America, as well as the Short-Season A Player of the Year and All-Star shortstop.

Betemit started 2001 with the Myrtle Beach Pelicans in Advanced-A ball (hitting the first inside-the-park home run in Pelicans history on June 11), and was promoted mid-season to the Greenville Braves in AA. He hit .355 with Greenville, and was named the Braves top prospect for the second year in a row. He was also the Braves Minor League Player of the Year, the Florida State League All-Star shortstop, and the Baseball America 2nd team minor league all-star shortstop.

Called up to the Braves in September, he made his major league debut on September 18, 2001, as a pinch runner against the Philadelphia Phillies. He was 0 for 8 for the Braves in limited pinch hitting opportunities.

In 2002, he was sent to the AAA Richmond Braves to start the season, but spent significant portions of the season on the disabled list due to various ailments. Despite a sub-par, injury-ridden season, he was still named the Braves second-best pro prospect after the season.

He spent most of 2003 and 2004 with Richmond, but appeared in 22 games with the Braves in 2004, recording his first Major League hit on May 8 against the Houston Astros.

Betemit finally broke out in 2005 as the Braves' principal reserve infielder, frequently filling in at third base for the Braves' oft-injured star third baseman Chipper Jones, hitting .305 for the season. He hit his first career home run on April 27 against New York Mets pitcher Tom Glavine.

In the offseason, following shortstop Rafael Furcal's free agency in the winter of 2005, the Braves considered giving Betemit the starting shortstop job. However, they decided instead to trade for shortstop Edgar Rentería from the Boston Red Sox. Betemit continued to play a valuable role for the Braves as a pinch hitter and backup for second baseman Marcus Giles, Rentería, and Chipper Jones.

Los Angeles Dodgers[edit]

On July 28, 2006, Betemit was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers for relief pitcher Danys Baez and infielder Willy Aybar.[3] He made his debut for the Dodgers on July 30, 2006, playing third base against the Washington Nationals. He finished the season with a batting average of .241 with nine home runs and 24 RBIs.

He was expected to be the Dodgers starting third baseman in 2007, but poor play resulted in his becoming a part-time starter and pinch hitter. He hit pinch hit home runs in consecutive games against the Braves in May 2007. He hit 10 home runs and 26 RBIs in 84 games.

New York Yankees[edit]

On July 31, 2007, the Dodgers traded Betemit to the New York Yankees for relief pitcher Scott Proctor.[4] On August 2, 2007, Betemit homered in his first Yankee at bat while filling in at shortstop for Derek Jeter and was given a curtain call by the fans in attendance.[5] On May 9, 2008, Betemit was the victim of Detroit Tigers's pitcher Kenny Rogers' record setting 92nd career pickoff.[6]

Chicago White Sox[edit]

On November 13, 2008, Betemit, and minor league pitchers Jeffrey Marquez and Jhonny Núñez were traded to the Chicago White Sox for first baseman Nick Swisher and minor league pitcher Kanekoa Texeira.[7]

On June 3, 2009, the White Sox designated Betemit for assignment to call up prized prospect Gordon Beckham.[8]

Kansas City Royals[edit]

Betemit playing for the Kansas City Royals in 2011

On November 12, 2009, Betemit signed a minor league contract with the Kansas City Royals.[9] He began the 2010 season with Kansas City's Class AAA affiliate, the Omaha Royals of the Pacific Coast League.

He hit home runs from both sides of the plate on June 10, 2010, in a 9–8 win against Minnesota Twins.[10]

Detroit Tigers[edit]

On July 20, 2011, Betemit was traded to the Detroit Tigers for left-handed pitcher Antonio Cruz and catcher Julio Rodriguez.[11]

Baltimore Orioles[edit]

On January 23, 2012, he signed a two-year, major league deal with an option for a third year with the Baltimore Orioles.[12]

On March 25, 2013, Wilson was carried out on a stretcher during a spring-training game against the Boston Red Sox with an apparent ligament injury to his right knee.[13] He started a rehab assignment on August 6, serving time with the Gulf Coast League Orioles, Bowie Baysox, Frederick Keys, and Norfolk Tides. The Orioles activated him from the 60-day disabled list on August 27.[14] He was designated for assignment on September 16, 2013. He was released on September 24.[15]

Tampa Bay Rays[edit]

Betemit signed a minor league deal with the Tampa Bay Rays on February 6, 2014.[16] Betemit failed to make the Rays Opening Day roster but accepted his outright assignment to AAA.

In July 2014 he joined Durham Bulls and helped his team to 7-3 victory against Pacific Coast League.[17] On July 20, 2014, he helped Jayson Nix to get a home run in an 11-3 victory over Gwinnett Braves[18] and three days later recorded two hits against Rochester Red Wings during which game the team scored 5 hits in total.[19] On August 10, 2014, his team lost to Manitoba Bisons.[20]

Pronunciation of last name[edit]

The pronunciation of Betemit's last name has been debated by baseball broadcasters and fans. Betemit has stated that he pronounces his name the way it is pronounced in his native Dominican Republic, i.e. "Bay-tah-mee", not "Bet-eh-mitt" ("the 't' is silent," he explains).[21] However, Betemit has also said that he does not especially care that many American baseball broadcasters have "Americanized" his name by pronouncing the "t".[citation needed]

In an interview in 2006, Atlanta Braves announcer Joe Simpson related that he had asked Betemit about halfway through that season how to pronounce his name, and when told the answer, apologized to him, saying, "I've been pronouncing your name wrong all this time, but I'm gonna pronounce it right from now on!"[citation needed]

Date of birth[edit]

There was some confusion surrounding Betemit's date of birth. His official Player Profile on MLB.com[22] used to list it as July 28, 1980, while other sources, including Baseball-Reference.com, have it as November 2, 1981.[23] An article from February 2000 in the Savannah Morning News offers an explanation for the discrepancy, saying that his real birthday is 1981-11-02.[24]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Wilson Betemit Stats, News, Pictures, Bio, Videos". ESPN. Retrieved February 14, 2014. 
  2. ^ Zack, Bill (February 29, 2000). "Betemit seeking to become free agent". Savannah Morning News. Retrieved June 19, 2014. 
  3. ^ "'Pen's mightier: Braves get Dodgers' Baez for Betemit". ESPN.com. Associated Press. July 29, 2006. Archived from the original on February 23, 2014. Retrieved February 6, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Yankees get infielder Betemit for reliever Proctor". ESPN.com. Associated Press. July 31, 2007. Archived from the original on December 19, 2008. Retrieved October 7, 2011. 
  5. ^ Freeman, Rick (August 2, 2007). "White Sox 13, Yankees 9". USA Today. Retrieved October 7, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Rogers, Pudge help Tigers edge Yankees". ESPN.com. Associated Press. May 9, 2008. Archived from the original on February 23, 2014. Retrieved February 6, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Yankees acquire 1B/OF Nick Swisher and Kanekoa Texeira from the Chicago White Sox in exchange for INF Wilson Betemit and two Minor League pitchers" (Press release). MLB.com. November 13, 2008. Archived from the original on February 12, 2009. Retrieved October 7, 2011. 
  8. ^ "White Sox's Gordon Beckham will be called up". ESPN.com. Associated Press. June 4, 2009. Archived from the original on June 7, 2009. Retrieved October 7, 2011. 
  9. ^ "Royals, Betemit agree to terms". ESPN.com. Associated Press. November 12, 2009. Archived from the original on November 15, 2009. Retrieved February 6, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Betemit's HR in 9th gives Royals buffer to hold off Twins". ESPN.com. Associated Press. June 10, 2010. Archived from the original on June 13, 2010. Retrieved February 6, 2014. 
  11. ^ Axisa, Mike. "Tigers Acquire Wilson Betemit". MLBTradeRumors.com. Archived from the original on July 23, 2011. Retrieved July 20, 2011. 
  12. ^ "Orioles sign infielder Wilson Betemit". ESPN.com. Associated Press. January 24, 2012. Archived from the original on January 27, 2012. Retrieved February 6, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Orioles' Wilson Betemit carted off field after ligament injury". BaltimoreNewsJournal.com. Archived from the original on March 28, 2013. Retrieved March 25, 2013. 
  14. ^ "O's activate INF Wilson Betemit". ESPN.com. Associated Press. September 1, 2012. Archived from the original on September 3, 2012. Retrieved February 6, 2014. 
  15. ^ Adams, Steve (September 24, 2013). "Orioles Release Wilson Betemit". MLBTradeRumors.com. Archived from the original on September 18, 2013. Retrieved February 6, 2014. 
  16. ^ "Rays sign Wilson Betemit". ESPN.com. Associated Press. February 6, 2014. Archived from the original on February 7, 2014. Retrieved February 6, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Bulls' Betemit helps International League to 7-3 win over PCL in Triple-A All Star Game". July 17, 2014. Archived from the original on August 16, 2014. Retrieved August 16, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Bulls trounced at Gwinnett, head home". The Herald-Sun. July 20, 2014. Archived from the original on August 16, 2014. Retrieved August 16, 2014. 
  19. ^ "Rochester blanks Durham Bulls". July 23, 2014. Archived from the original on August 16, 2014. Retrieved August 16, 2014. 
  20. ^ John McCann (August 10, 2014). "Just enough offense just right for Bulls". The Herald-Sun. Archived from the original on August 16, 2014. Retrieved August 16, 2014. 
  21. ^ "Ducksnorts". August 26, 2006. Archived from the original on March 28, 2014. Retrieved March 27, 2014. 
  22. ^ "Wilson Betemit". 
  23. ^ "Wilson Betemit". 
  24. ^ "Betemit seeking to become free agent". February 29, 2000. Archived from the original on August 12, 2014. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Corey Patterson
2000
Youngest Player in the
National League

2001
Succeeded by
Wily Mo Peña
2002