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2015 MLB Draft: Rays select C Chris Betts

Was not expecting this

With the No. 52 pick in the draft, the Rays drafted catcher Chris Betts from Wilson High School in Long Beach, California.

Tools (potential grades, not present) per MLB.com:

Hit: 55
Power: 60
Speed: 20
Field: 45
Arm: 55

Ranks on draft boards:

Baseball America: 28
MLB.com: 25
Baseball Prospectus: 18
FanGraphs: 17
ESPN: 16

Scouting snippets:

ESPN ($)

Betts doesn't have the "wow" skills of (Tyler) Stephenson but is a more advanced hitter and receiver now, earning comps to Brian McCann as an offense-first backstop who projects to have enough defensive value to stay at the position.

Baseball America ($)

He features good size for a catcher, improving receiving ability after an offseason spent working out with Twins catcher Kurt Suzuki, and plus raw arm strength. (...) He may hit enough for the bat to play at first base if catching doesn't work out, but he has intangibles and arm strength to catch and has star potential if he can stay at the position.

ESPN's Eric Longenhagen reacts:

5m5 minutes ago

Rays having a solid draft, add Chris Betts who I think will catch and hit enough to play even if he doesn't.

FanGraphs' Kiley McDaniels reacts:

23s24 seconds ago

Now I'm hearing conflicting info that this figure isn't accurate for Betts. Either way, nice pick for TB if they can sign him.

That figure he's talking about is a reported $2.5 million bonus demand, which is what would have caused him to fall this far.

Baseball Prospectus' Christopher Crawford reacts:


Chris Betts, C, Wilson HS (Calif.)
This is a heck of a pickup for the Rays. Even if Betts can't stay behind the plate, he's a guy many believe has two plus tools in the power and hit, and even if he has to move to first base, he's a potential regular. That's pretty nice value with the 52nd pick

MLB.com video

FanGraphs video

I did not believe the Rays would draft another catcher this quickly. Based on the rankings above, this is clearly good value. A left-handed batter, Betts has the bat to play anywhere on the field, but he certainly has potential to stay behind the plate. It may take some time, though. Regarding his bonus, I can't imagine the Rays would take him if they didn't have an idea what it would take.

Please come back Tuesday for more on the draft.