Braves catching prospect Christian Bethancourt, 21, played in his second consecutive Futures Game Sunday and probably would have started his second straight if not for a sore left wrist.
Bethancourt took a foul ball off the wrist of his glove hand while catching Thursday night for Double-A Mississippi and sat out Friday’s game. But he was feeling better by Sunday and after taking some batting practice Sunday morning at Citi Field showed he was OK for the game.
Bethancourt entered at catcher in the sixth inning and caught the final three innings for the World team in a 4-2 loss to the U.S. team. He went 0-for-1 at the plate with a soft liner to second base on the first pitch.
“It feels great so I got to play today,” said Bethancourt, who was scheduled to fly to Jacksonville Monday and plans to play in the Southern League All-Star game there on Tuesday.
Bethancourt got some consideration for the Braves backup catching job in spring training with Brian McCann coming back from surgery. The strong-armed athletic catcher is playing out his second season in Double-A working on improving the offensive side of his game.
His batting average has improved to .262 in 55 games with Mississippi this year, up from his injury-plagued career-worst .243 of a year ago.
“I feel like I’m making some progress,” Bethancourt said. “I’m going to the field every day trying to get better. No matter if you hit 3-for-3, the next day you want to go and try to hit 4-for-4. I’m trying to be consistent in the game and that’s the main thing.”
Bethancourt was the only Braves minor leaguer to appear in this year’s Futures Game. Joey Terdoslavich was selected but the Braves called him up shortly thereafter when Jordan Schafer went on the DL. Terdoslavich spent Sunday afternoon starting in right field for the injury-riddled Braves.