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Many thought the Rays got a steal when they nabbed high school catcher Chris Betts in the second round, a bulky 6-1, 215-pound catcher many thought was one of the best back stops in the draft. Now we know why he slipped in the draft.

Two days after the signing of Betts was announced, Bill Chastain reported that Betts needs Tommy John surgery.

The elbow issue was indeed why he slipped out of the first round according to Keith Law, although it is unclear if teams knew or suspected that he needed surgery.

According to Marc Topkin, the Rays did not know the severity of the injury when they drafted Betts but they were fully aware when they finalized his contract. Prior to signing the deal, Betts was given a physical which revealed the torn ligament.

Interestingly, Betts still got a $1.49 million signing bonus which is about $330,000 more than MLB recommends for that particular slot.

He is expected to be out until next June.

Of course, Betts is just 18, so losing a year is not the worst thing in the world. However, catcher’s notoriously need more development time than other position players and this pushes the clock back.

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