I know a lot of people are disappointed that Wilson Betemit was traded, and so am I, but I’m excited that the Braves got Willy Aybar in exchange. Aybar — like Betemit, a switch-hitting infielder — was BP’s #34 prospect after the 2004 season. He had a disappointing AAA campaign but played well after his callup. He’s been up and down between Vegas and LA this year, and played pretty well both places. His .250 major league batting average hides a lot of positives. His OBP of .356 is actually higher than Betemit’s, and though he doesn’t have quite Betemit’s power a .164 ISO is pretty respectable.
The Braves might still have to make a callup, as Aybar hasn’t played shortstop, at least not in the majors. He’s projected as a third baseman and has mostly played there in the minors, but has been playing a lot of second with Jeff Kent hurt. He still has options, so they might send him to Richmond and call up L’il Tony, though if they were smart they’d put Orr on assignment. (Or Chipper might have to go on the DL, which would suck.) If he’s really 23, as he’s listed — of course, you can’t count on Dominican ages — he’s still a few years away from his peak, which could be pretty good. High end Edgardo Alfonzo, low end Joe Randa.
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