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Wednesday December 11th 2019

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Yankees Pitching Prospect Preview, Part 2 of 5: Right-Hander Dellin Betances

Twenty-two year old Dellin Betances is one of the best young, homegrown arms the Yankees have had the pleasure of displaying this spring training. When I say homegrown, I mean homegrown. Betances was born on March 23, 1988 in Brooklyn, New York.

Not that it’s relevant to his talent, but just an interesting fact here.

When Betances was 10, he sat in the bleachers at Yankee Stadium during the perfect game of David Wells in 1998.

The Yankees drafted him in the eighth round of the 2006 draft. The Yankees offered him a $1 million signing bonus to forgo his commitment to Vanderbilt.

With just one professional season under his belt, Betances was voted the third best prospect in the entire Yankee system. In 2009, he was named fifth best.

In 2006 for the Gulf Coast Yankees of the Rookie League, Betances posted a 1.16 ERA. He was just 18-years old. He had an 0-1 record in seven games, all of which were starts. He also struck out 27 in 23.1 innings.

In 2007, Betances pitched for the Staten Island Yankees. He recorded a 1-2 line with a 3.60 ERA. In six games, 25 innings, he struck out 29 innings.

Betances saw a very high level of success in 2008, a level that he had yet to reach in his two previous professional seasons. He made two stops in the minors during that 2008 season, starting in the Rookie League and then advancing to the Yankees Single-A affiliate in Charleston.

On his first stop, Betances was 0-1 in just 6.2 innings of work, with a 8.53 ERA. Despite his poor performance in the lowest level of the minors, the Yankee brass decided it was time to promote him to the next level.

In Charleston, Betances came into his own. He posted a 9-4 record with a very respectable 3.67 ERA. In 115.1 innings, he struck out an astounding 135 while walking just 59. 

Betances struggled mightily in 2009 with the Yankees High-A ball affiliate in Tampa. He pitched to a 2-5 record with an inflated 5.48 ERA. He struck out 44 in 44.1 innings. His season ended in August when he underwent a ligament reinforcement surgery to prevent any further complications that could eventually lead to Tommy John Surgery.

After returning in 2010, Betances made 17 starts combined between High-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton. Overall in 2010, he posted an 8-1 record with a 2.11 ERA. He struck out 108 batters in just 85.1 innings. Oh yeah, he walked just 22 batters.

Safe to say that his surgery went pretty well.

The ceiling for Betances is incredibly high, even with his 6’8″ frame. He primarily works with two pitches—a mid- to high-90’s fastball that has touched 98 at times, and a sharp, downward curveball. The Yankees had him practice a two-seam fastball, and his changeup is currently in the developmental stages.

His control is questionable at times, but it is generally okay.

Because of his immense size, Betances has a very awkward delivery that often makes him off balance while following through. His mechanics are relatively inconsistent, but have yet to propose a huge threat to his development.

As he gets older and more experienced, Betances will be able to cope with such issues. He has missed some time with elbow and shoulder injuries in recent years, so we’ll see when he pulls it all together to stay healthy for a full season.

Betances dazzled in Sunday’s spring training game against the Phillies. He struck out Domonic Brown and Ben Francisco, walked Carlos Ruiz and then struck out Wilson Valdez to end his only inning of work.

His fastball topped at 97 and his curveball was, for lack of a better word, nasty.

Betances will be in competition for a roster spot this spring, although he will likely be sent down to the minors before seeing time with the big club. He has yet to pitch at Triple-A in his professional career, so he could benefit from a little more seasoning.

No matter what happens to Betances this season, he has a bright future ahead of him.

Read more New York Yankees news on BleacherReport.com


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