Dynasty Sleeper: Brewers Right-Hander Alec Bettinger

Andy Patton takes a deep dive into Brewers right-handed pitching prospect Alec Bettinger - an unheralded 2017 draft pick who is cruising at Double-A this year.

Players taken in the 10th round or later of the MLB Draft are rarely discussed as prospects – in dynasty or in real life. College seniors who are taken in the 10th round or later are discussed even less, as they are usually taken simply because as seniors, they won’t be able to demand much money and can be signed for cheap – with the team using the expendable income to try to woo juniors or high schoolers with bigger paydays.

As such, players like Milwaukee Brewers right-hander Alec Bettinger, a 10th-rounder in 2017, tend to go unnoticed even if they are posting good numbers.

That’s finally starting to change for Bettinger. After posting an ugly 6.91 ERA in 12 starts at High-A in 2018, he has more than held his own in AA this season.

Bettinger currently sports a 3.49 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, and a very tidy 10.30 K/9 in 10 starts – making him one of the most successful starting pitchers in the Southern League.


If I Was a Bettinger Man


Bettinger was taken in the 10th round by the Brewers in 2017 following his senior season at Virginia. He appeared in 15 games down the stretch that summer, starting nine and posting a 4.97 ERA (4.63 FIP) with an ugly 39/23 K/BB ratio in 50.2 innings.

Things got better when he was promoted to Single-A to start the 2018 campaign, where he improved his ratios to 7.18 K/9 and 2.44 BB/9 while posting a 3.73 ERA (4.04 FIP) and a 1.21 WHIP.

That was enough for him to earn a promotion to High-A Wisconsin, and while his strikeout numbers spiked (9.22 K/9) the rest of his numbers suffered, thanks mostly to a ridiculously high 1.65 HR/9.

A 1-6 record and a 6.91 ERA isn’t going to garner a lot of dynasty attention, even if his 4.67 FIP painted a slightly better picture. As such, Bettinger came into the 2019 season as unheralded as they come. He had never showed up on any Brewers prospect lists, had never been mentioned in any Fangraphs articles, and was generally considered an organizational arm who would fill out minor league rotations for a handful of years before getting bounced.

Bettinger flipped the script in 2019, and his excellent strikeout numbers and ability to limit baserunners has earned him a lot of attention in the last month or so.

Bettinger is among the leaders in K-BB% in the high minors this season, alongside names like Alex Faedo, Justin Dunn, Matt Manning and Ian Anderson

Part of his rise has been a bump in velocity. He came out of college with potential 55 grades on his curveball, cutter and command, but his fastball was lacking. If he can turn that pitch into a weapon while keeping his nice curveball and his command in check, he becomes a very intriguing potential back-end starter.


Dynasty Advice


The key word there is if, and the big concern I have with Bettinger is his pitch mix. A fastball/curveball/cutter combo doesn’t scream “big league starter” to me, but it does look like a nice mix for a multi-inning reliever or even a late-inning piece if his velocity continues to tick up.

As such, Bettinger carries considerable risk despite his excellent numbers at Double-A this season. I’d still love to target him in deeper dynasty formats where he is unowned, but keep an eye on what Milwaukee does. He seems destined for a promotion to Triple-A sooner rather than later, and the Brewers do need help in both their rotation and their bullpen, which could help him get elevated as soon as September if he continues to pitch well.

Milwaukee has a history of starting their pitchers out in the bullpen, and with the recent fall of Corbin Burnes and Freddy Peralta into ‘pen pieces, one has to wonder if Bettinger is due for the same fate.

Time will tell.


Featured image by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on twitter)

Andy Patton

Andy is the Dynasty Content Manager here at PitcherList. He manages all of the prospect content on the site, while also contributing a weekly article on dynasty deep sleepers, and the weekly hitter and pitcher stash lists. Andy also co-hosts the Never Sunny in Seattle podcast on the PitcherList Podcast Network, and separately hosts the Score Zags Score Podcast.

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