On Monday, Tampa Bay Rays minor-leaguer Chris Betts hit 24 home runs to win the 2019 Midwest League (Single-A) Home Run Derby. The Rays prospect bested Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Alek Thomas 8-7, in the final round to win the title, and Betts celebrated his winning homer with arguably the best bat flip you’ll see this season. Well, to be honest, this was more of a bat throw. Take a look:
Then on Tuesday, at the Midwest All-Star Game, Betts followed up his Home Run Derby victory with… another Home Run Derby victory.
With game tied at 3-3 through nine innings, a sudden-death Home Run Derby was held in lieu of extra innings, to decide the game. The West Division’s Blaze Alexander hit one home run in his 90-second round, while Betts, 22, notched two home runs to give the East Division the win. And obviously, Betts continued his bat flipping celebrations.
In 2015, Betts underwent Tommy John surgery, and two years later, he underwent another round of elbow surgery due to bone spurs. Here’s what Betts told reporters after the All-Star Game win on Tuesday:
“This is so special,” the 22-year-old said. “It really means so much to me. I’ve had quite the support system, from my parents, my girlfriend … and the training staff and everybody with the Rays stayed with me and allowed me to get to this point.
“There are a lot of organizations, after two elbow surgeries, I don’t get back to this point. The Rays have kept the faith and let me do my thing and get healthy and come and show what they drafted me for.”
Betts, the Rays’ second-round pick in the 2015 MLB Draft, currently plays for Class-A Bowling Green. In 58 games with Bowling Green, Betts is batting .226 with 12 home runs and 40 RBI.