Grading the Brewers: Yuniesky Betancourt


If anything made 2013 more strange than it already was, the re-signing of Yuniesky Betancourt has to be near the top of the list. In a season with so many injuries that it pretty much forced the team to re-sign him, how would he do in the grand scheme of things?

Yuniesky Betancourt is either going yard or striking out in 3…2…1… Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

For Betancourt, he started off the season on an absolute tear and for one time (or maybe an inning or two) was one of Milwaukee’s most dangerous hitters in April. After that weird stretch of time, Betancourt would regress into the player we all knew he was and in fact, he turned out worse than in 2011. Just a quick glance of his 13 home runs can be somewhat eye-popping for a guy like him, but when he hit eight of them in April and May with the remaining four coming in June through September, I can’t really say I’m surprised.

Betancourt was never a player the Brew Crew ever wanted to fall back on, but due to the strange amount of circumstances, they really had no other choice once they re-signed him. The fact that Betancourt was on the 25-man roster for the entire season should give you some indication of how 2013 went. I mean surely there had to have been more options out there to choose from, even minor league ones, instead of thinking that re-signing Betancourt would actually be a positive thing.

In 137 games played this season (wow, that actually happened), Betancourt hit a feeble .212/.240/.355 with the 13 homers mentioned before, 46 RBIs and scored 35 runs. Perhaps the only positive that came from Betancourt this season were his two grand slams, but that’s probably where the optimistic train stops. Defensively, Yuni was nothing to write home about as he was just a body to stick at a position in a lost season.

Somehow, somewhere the idea that Betancourt actually could be a productive part of ANY team actually floated about in the minds of the Brewers’ front office. How or why, I don’t know, but I guess in a season that ended halfway through May, there weren’t many other cheap alternatives. Still, when I think of a utility player, Betancourt isn’t the star image of that in my mind, nor do I think in anyone else’s.

If you want a more clear image of how things went this season with Yuni, look at his 17.4 percent strikeout rate, which is by far the highest of his career. That and the fact that his on-base percentage was even below .250, and typically when a guy’s OBP is at .300 that’s already pretty awful. I mean, if Betancourt even had an OBP of .300 it still would be far from okay, but anything is better than his actual percentage of .240.

Offensively, Betancourt is just a disaster and honestly, you might expect that from a washed up veteran player, but he’s only 31, not some guy near the end of his career. Now granted, I don’t know that his career ever took off after his “glory days” with the Seattle Mariners, I just know that it was an absolute failure in Milwaukee both times.

Betancourt’s final grade: F