Everyday until spring training begins the "Respect Jeter's Gangster" blog will review one player from the Yankees roster. We will review a total of 27 players, the 25 we believe will be on the active roster after spring training, and 2 we believe should be on the active roster but won't be for one reason or another. Our reviews are all edited by Carl Pavano himself to insure they're up to the stringent "Pavano Tough" standards.
Wilson Betemit was introduced to the Yankees last season at the trade deadline as Cashman sent Scott Proctor to the Dodgers. At the time I didn't like the trade. Proctor was a work horse who was over worked, but I still liked him as a player. He was the only pitcher who would retaliate against the Red Sox after they would peg our players 5 times a game. I really hoped Farnsworth would get traded, but alas, the deadline came, Proctor was gone and in came Betemit. Apparently, the Yankees had been interested in Betemit for a while, and had tried to make offers for him before. Last season it worked out.
Betemit batted .229 with 14 homeruns and 50 RBI's in 240 at bats last season. He has a lot of pop for a utility infielder, which is what I beleive the Yankees liked about him. He was certainly a step up from Miguel Cairo in the power department. With great power however comes great strike outs. Betemit struck out 82 times last season with 38 walks. One of the concerns with Betemit is his weight. He's a hefty guy who plays positions that require a little more grace. He has a good arm, but that won't help him if he can't reach a ball. I did not get to see him play much defense last season, so I have to go on the numbers. He has a career .960 fielding percentage, which isn't very good. His career numbers at shortstop are awful (perhaps the reason they signed Nick Green), but he will be looked at for 1st base duty.
My Fearless Prediction:
Betemit will be given spot starts throughout the infield, but with stronger defensive options available, expect to see him as a pinch hitter/bench player. He will strike out a lot, and hit a few homeruns. Expect at least 10 homeruns, with a low batting average and a few botched plays throughout the infield.
Little Known Betemit Fact: Wilson Betemit played Hamlet in his home towns production of the famous Shakespeare play.