Assorted Thoughts About Yuniesky Betancourt

  • Among qualified shortstops, Betancourt is second last in WAR, with -.3 wins so far this season. He’s slightly ahead of Miguel Tejada, who has -.5, and just a bit behind the one and only Alcides Escobar, at -.2. Escobar’s batting line is substantially worse than Betancourt’s .225/.248/.326, but Escobar has been a better than average fielder so far, and Betancourt has been about -1.2 runs compared to average.
  • 3.4% of Yuniesky Betancourt’s plate appearances have ended in a walk. Among qualified batters, that’s the worst of all the shortstops, and eighth worse in the league. Of the bottom ten in walks, only one player has a worse OBP than Betancourt’s .248-- that’s Mark Ellis’s .218.
  • The last three years, Betancourt has been -11, -17, and -10 runs by UZR, and -13, -19, and -21 runs by Dewan +/-. This season, his UZR prorated out to 150 games is about -10.
  • From the start of the 2008 season through this part of the 2011 season, the worst defenders in baseball by UZR have been: Brad Hawpe (-60 runs, RF), Jermaine Dye (-40 runs, RF), Delmon Young (-40 runs, LF), and Yuniesky Betancourt (-39 runs, SS). By Dewan +/-, the worst fielder over that time frame is Betancourt at -54, followed by Hawpe at -37.
  • Over the same time frame, the worst qualified batter is Pedro Feliz, with a .284 wOBA. Second is Yuniesky Betancourt, at .287. Jason Kendall is third. 
  • When we talk about Yuniesky Betancourt, we are talking about a baseball player who has received 550+ plate appearances in the past 3 years, and is among the top 3 candidates for "Worst regularly playing hitter of the past three years" and "Worst regularly playing defensive player of the past 3 years".
  • Considering his incredibly bad track record, we are talking about a player who is hitting significantly worse than his career norms while maintaining his horrible defensive performance.

And with that, take it away Adam McCalvy:

Betancourt entered Sunday's game hitting 5-for-37 in May with no walks, giving him a .135 average and a .128 OBP for the month. For the season, Betancourt was batting .225 with a .250 OBP.

"He always has [had a low on-base mark]," Roenicke said. "He's a swinger. He's not going to hit .230. What happens with him is he'll hit .270, .280 and his on-base is going to be [in the] low .300s."

Can't Brewers coaches ask Betancourt to try taking some pitches?

"They have before, and he gets defensive and his at-bats aren't as good," Roenicke said. "That was the problem in Seattle; they approached him that way. Last year [in Kansas City], they didn't and he had a very good offensive year. They let him be himself."

Roenicke preached patience with Betancourt.

"He's a pretty good offensive player," the manager said. "He's gonna hit. Give it some time."

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