clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Braves rewind: Whatever happened to...Wilson Betemit?

New, 17 comments

Let's take a look back at Braves from years past.

Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

The Braves made a big mistake in signing Wilson Betemit.

That's not to say he was a regrettable signing; he hit .281 in 233 games with the Braves. The Braves signed the young infielder in 1996, but facts came to light early in 2000 that the team had signed a 14-year-old, and league rules prohibit the signing of anyone under the age of 16. As a result, the Braves were slapped with a $100,000 fine and were prohibited from scouting any Dominican players for six months. Betemit even sought legal council in trying to void his contract and become a free agent.

Before this mess happened, Betemit had just completed his third year in rookie ball where he hit .320 with Danville and was named Player of the Year and an Appalachian League All-Star. After hitting .331 with Jamestown in 2000, he was the team's top prospect two years straight, being a top 10 pick in 2002.

Betemit debuted September 2001 as a 19-year-old, but didn't record his first major-league hit until 2004. He was up full time in 2005, hitting .305 in 115 games, and was hitting .281 in 2006 when he was traded to the Dodgers.

The 143 games he played in 2006 would be the most he'd play in a season. Following a poor showing in LA, he was relegated to part-time duty for the remainder of his career. He would spend the next seven years with six different teams, last playing for Baltimore in 2013.

Betemit signed a minors deal with the Rays in 2014, but was busted early in 2015 for PED use and served a 50-game suspension. He would play that year and the next in the Dominican Winter League with little success before trying his talents in the Mexican League this year, but was released just last week after just 12 games.