MLB’s 25 Most Improved Players Prospects for 2016 Momentum

#13. Chad Bettis, Colorado Rockies

2015 WAR: 2.6
2014 WAR: -1.1
WAR Improvement: 3.7

Perhaps the best news for Chad Bettis is he’s allowed a lower percentage of contact to result in fly balls during each and every season of his brief MLB career. As a starter for the Colorado Rockies, keeping the ball on the ground is vital, or else he’ll produce plenty of souvenirs for those attending games at Coors Field.

However, avoiding fly balls isn’t necessarily going to help Bettis maintain his numbers. It’s still troubling that, per Fangraphs, the former top prospect only had a single pitch with above-average value (his cutter/slider), and it was the one he threw the least. His fastball, curveball, and changeup all graded out as negatives.

We still don’t have to be entirely pessimistic about Bettis’ chances of completing the transition from sub-par reliever to above-average starter. He did enjoy success at the beginning and end of his first full season in an MLB rotation — it was only while he was dealing with an August elbow injury that he saw his ERA and WHIP skyrocket.

Bettis could possess the tools necessary to overcome Coors Field’s lengthy history of eating pitchers alive. Just don’t expect him to be that far above replacement level while playing home games in the Mile High City.