Sunday, February 8, 2015

Meet A Prospect: Dellin Betances

Dellin Betances was born on March 23, 1988 in Washington Heights, Manhattan in New York. Dellin was born to parents Jamie and Maria Betances after they emigrated to the United States from the Dominican Republic. Jamie was a boxer and drives for a car service to support Dellin and his two older brothers and younger sister. The Betances family moved to the Lower East Side of Manhattan when Dell was ten years old where Dellin attended many Yankees games with his family. One of those games he witnessed firsthand at age 10 was David Wells perfect game in 1998 while sitting with the Bleacher Creatures. This, according to Dellin, was the reason that the 6’ 9” right hander chose baseball over basketball and forces him to play summer baseball in the Youth Service League. Betances spent his High School years at Grand Street Campus School in Brooklyn, New York and could throw an 85 MPH fastball as a freshmen. By his Junior year in 2005 Betances was up to 90 MPH on the fastball while towering over his competition at 6’ 4” on his way to being named an Aflac All-American, the first player from New York City to receive the honor. Betances also played for the Team USA Junior National Team that season. By 2006 Betances was  6’ 9” and was rated as the tenth best High School prospect in all the land by

Betances went into the 2006 MLB First Year Players Draft expecting to be chosen in the first round even though he was committed to Vanderbilt University on a full baseball scholarship. His commitment to the Vanderbilt Commodores baseball team as well as him coming out and asking for a high signing bonus made him fall in the draft and fall fast. The New York Yankees finally took a shot on the local kid in the eighth round of the draft giving him a $1 million signing bonus snatching him away from College Baseball. Dellin used that money to buy his family a house in  Teaneck, New Jersey as a thank you for all that they did. Great kid with a great makeup, local kid, seems destined to be a great Yankee, no?

Betances spent his 2007 season with the Staten Island Yankees in the New York Penn League as the Yankees third best prospect and made it all the way to Low A with the Charleston Riverdogs by the 2008 season began. Another year and another promotion for Dellin in 2009 as the Yankees fifth best prospect according to Baseball America went up to High A with the Tampa Yankees, although struggling with a 2-5 record and a 5.48 ERA in 11 starts before suffering an elbow injury in early June of that season. Betances had surgery late in 2009 which was a ligament reinforcement procedure and not the dreaded Tommy John surgery that so many power pitchers have to receive. Betances began the 2010 back in Tampa but quickly received a midseason promotion to the AA affiliate the Trenton Thunder pitching so well the Yankees added Dellin to the 40 man roster after the season. Another season another promotion for Dellin as he started the 2011 in AAA with the Scranton Wilkes Barre team. Betances was called up to the majors for the first time that season on September 8, 2011.

Betances had a pitching sessions in the street in front of his Teaneck, New Jersey home with his brother before joining up with the Yankees in Anaheim to face the Angels. Betances and fellow prospect and “Killer B” Andrew Brackman both made their Major League debuts on September 22, 2011 and Betances only saw one other appearance for the Yankees that season. Betances was sent back down to AAA for the 2012 season and after struggling in the rotation the Yankees moved Betances to the bullpen on May 10, 2013. Betances was brought up to the majors when Ivan Nova went down last season with an injury but was used very little and sent back down when Nova came off the disabled list in May. Betances pitched to a 1.46 ERA with 63 strikeouts in 49.1 IP as a reliever in AAA and was recalled back to New York on August 11, 2013. Betances spent four days with the big league club before being sent back down on August 15 and brought back as a September call up on September 1st. Betances was seldom used for whatever reason and spent most of September sitting on the bench rather than gaining valuable experience. Most of that may have been the fact the Yankees were in a dog fight for the second Wild Card.

Dellin absolutely went off during the 2014 season setting the strikeout record for a Yankees reliever in a single season, passing Mariano Rivera, and may have had the torch passed to him from David Robertson as the closer in 2015. 

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)