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MLB Futures Game 2012: What To Watch For With Braves Prospect Christian Bethancourt

The Atlanta Braves have sent quite a few players to the MLB Futures Game over the years, and they'll have yet another representative on the World team with catcher Christian Bethancourt. He is currently a top-3 prospect in the system and is blessed with an incredible throwing arm behind the plate, but his bat is yet to come around.

Bethancourt, who is just 20 years old, is hitting .254 with an OPS of .558. Scouts believe he still has plenty of time to come into his own as a hitter, but at least some kind of production in Mississippi wouldn't hurt anything.

As for this afternoon's game in Kansas City, the matchup to watch will be Bethancourt behind the dish against leadoff hitter Billy Hamilton. If Hamilton reaches base, he's a lock to steal; he already has upwards of 100 stolen bases in 2012. Very few have the arm to throw Hamilton out, but Bethancourt certainly could.

Another player to watch for is Mike Olt, the starting third baseman for Team USA. A Texas Rangers prospect, he has unreal power and will likely be in the majors sooner rather than later.

It should be a great day for baseball as the league's most promising youngsters put their game on display. First pitch is set for 5 p.m. ET on ESPN2.

For more on Bethancourt and the Braves, check out Talking Chop.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.