Phillies

Phillies add catching depth in former Braves top prospect Christian Bethancourt

Phillies add catching depth in former Braves top prospect Christian Bethancourt

The Phillies added catching depth with a slight chance for upside by reportedly agreeing to a minor-league deal with Christian Bethancourt.

Bethancourt, now 28, was one of the Braves' top prospects five years ago, ranked 69th league-wide by Baseball America entering 2014. 

Athleticism and arm strength have always been Bethancourt's calling cards, though two of the reasons he lost his job as the Braves' starting catcher in 2015 were receiving and game-calling. He was 23 then.

The Braves traded Bethancourt to the Padres in December 2015 for Casey Kelly, a former first-round pitcher. The change-of-scenery deal didn't really work out for either side. 

Bethancourt just hasn't hit. He's a career .222/.252/.316 hitter in the majors in 489 plate appearances. He had a weak offensive season in 2019 in Korea, which is not a promising sign given Korea's resemblance to the lower levels of the minor leagues.

He does offer defensive versatility as a potential corner outfielder, and that could suit him well with MLB going to 26-man rosters in 2020.

But Bethancourt will obviously have to hit in spring training to make this team.

Bethancourt is the fifth player the Phillies have brought aboard on a minor-league deal with an invite to spring training, joining Josh Harrison, Phil Gosselin, Matt Szczur and Mikie Mahtook.

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Brian Dawkins schools Phillies prospects on how to handle boos

Brian Dawkins schools Phillies prospects on how to handle boos

A group of Phillies prospects was in town this week for the organization’s annual prospects education seminar.

One of those lessons came from a legend.

Brian Dawkins, the most motivational athlete this city has ever seen, shared with the group his thoughts on playing in Philadelphia and responding to the passionate fan base.

“Playing in Philadelphia is different,” Dawkins said. “If you get on the field, there is a 99.99 percent chance you will be booed. The thing I always knew though was that you may boo me that one time but I’m not gonna make the same mistake again.”

The group included Alec Bohm, the Phillies’ top offensive prospect, and Cristopher Sanchez, a pitching prospect with a 100 mph arm profiled here by Jim Salisbury.

Check out the video here if you’re seeking some extra juice at the gym or just want to see Weapon X drop some jewels.

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Gabe Kapler and Giants make historic coaching hire with Alyssa Nakken

Gabe Kapler and Giants make historic coaching hire with Alyssa Nakken

With all of the chaos currently consuming the league, it may have been overlooked that the Giants and Gabe Kapler have made a historic coaching hire.

Alyssa Nakken has been named one of Kapler's assistant coaches. She will be the first woman on a major-league coaching staff.

Can anyone say girl power?

Nakken is also a chairperson for the Giants' Employee Resource Group. This group promotes diversity and equality within the organization.

And as a female, with her intelligence and determination and hunger and drive to excel — I understand some of her responsibility is keeping her fingers on the pulse of the culture — it’s invaluable. She’ll broaden the scope and perspective, and I applaud Gabe for doing this.

-Kathy Strahan, Nakken's former coach in an interview for the San Francisco Chronicle

This is a moment that could change the mold of the league in the new decade.

Women belong in sports and are here to stay. And this single hire has the potential to open numerous doors in the future for both the league and anyone who wants to be a part of it.

You can read more about the hire and get to know Nakken at the San Francisco Chronicle.

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