Jan
21

Prospect Profile: Dellin Betances

By

Dellin Betances | RHP

Background
Born and raised in Brooklyn, Betances attended Grand Street High School. He popped up on the prospect map after a sophomore year growth spurt that saw him add six inches and twenty pounds to his frame. Betances dominated as a junior, going 6-0 with 100 strikeouts and just eleven hits allowed in 41.2 IP. He allowed one earned run all season and led Grand Street to the PSAL semifinals, where he struck out sixteen in a three hit shutout of New Utrecht. Invited to the prestigous Aflac All-American Game, Betances retired the heart of the West squad’s lineup on nine pitches in his only inning of work.

Baseball America rated Betances the seventh best high school prospect prior to his senior year, however he struggled due to mechanical issues that led to inconsistent velocity. Despite that, he still managed to set a school record with 20 strikeouts in one game. In the revised rankings before the draft, he still checked in as the 68th best prospect in the class, and top prospect in the state. Betances had a strong commitment to follow fellow New Yorker Pedro Alvarez to Vanderbilt, and unconfirmed rumors swirled that he wanted a seven figure bonus and would only sign with the Yankees.

Betances lasted until the eighth round of the ’06 draft, when his hometown team popped him with the 254th overall pick. Despite the Vandy commitment and rumored bonus demands, he signed quickly for a cool million bucks, at a time a record for the eighth round. Betances was assigned to the Rookie level Gulf Coast League Yanks after signing, and used his bonus money to buy his parents a house in Bogota after the summer.

Pro Career
Working the front end of a tandem start system with Zach McAllister, Betances had a dominant debut, allowing just 14 hits and 7 walks against 27 K in 23 IP. He fell short of qualifying for the league ERA title, but his 1.17 mark would have placed him second in the circuit. Betances started 2007 in Extended Spring Training to work on his mechanics, then reported to Short Season Staten Island in June. He made six decent starts for the Baby Bombers (25 IP, 3.60 ERA, 1.64 WHIP, 10.57 Kper9) before going down with a strained elbow that ended his season.

Although there was speculation that he would need Tommy John surgery, Betances reported to Low-A Charleston at the start of 2008 without incident, and started Opening Day for the River Dogs. He was solid in his first eleven starts (55 IP, 4.42 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 10.47 Kper9) but struggled with his control, walking 6.54 batters per 9 IP. In early June he went down with a sore shoulder, and missed a month before returning in early July. Betances was much stronger in the second half (60.1 IP, 3.28 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 10.59 Kper9), but most importantly he got over his control problems and reduced his walk rate by nearly four walks per game, down to 2.83 BBper9. Despite missing a month due to injury, Betances finished sixth in the South Atlantic League with 135 strikeouts, pacing the circuit with a 10.54 strikeouts per nine innings.

Scouting Report
Betances works primarily with two pitches: a four seam fastball that sits in the mid-90′s and touches 98, and a hard downer curveball. He gets a wicked downward plane on his heater because of his size, and when he’s right hitters find it impossible to get any lift on his hard stuff. Betances’ changeup is in it’s infancy stages, and the Yanks have had him toy with a two seamer. His control varies day-to-day, but is generally okay.

Literally a monster on the mound, Betances checks in at 6’8″, 245 pounds. He struggles with his delivery because of his size and long limbs, often failing to maintain balance through his windup. Finding comfortable and consistent mechanics is always a difficult and cumbersome chore for tall pitchers, and it’ll probably be a few years before he figures things out.

Typical of high school pitchers, Betances still has to work on his fielding and ability to hold runners. He has a quiet confidence about him, and his work ethic is very good. The biggest issue with Betances is his durability, as he’s missed time with elbow and shoulder troubles the past few seasons, likely the result of mechanical issues. He must still prove he can hold up over a full season.

You can see his scouting video here, and some footage of his 2007 season debut here.

2009 Outlook
After a dominant second half with Charleston, Betances is ready to move up to High-A Tampa. Unless he devastates the Florida State League over the first ten or twelve weeks of the season, he’ll likely remain in Tampa for all of ’09.

My Take
If you’re cool enough to have been reading my stuff since the days of IGWT, then you know I’ve been on Betances since before he was even drafted. He’s very much a project, likely to need a full season at each level, but he’s a project with enormous upside and true ace potential. The key for his development is obviously his delivery. Once he gets that straightened out, his command will improve and everything else will come together. Betances doesn’t have to be added to the 40-man roster until after the 2010 season, so there’s no need to rush him through the system. If his control improvement in the second half last year was real, he’ll grow into one of the better pitching prospects in the game.

Categories : Prospect Profiles

198 Comments»

  1. Tom Zig says:

    YES! A post on Betances!

  2. steve (different one) says:

    there is no way he will ever be good, the Yankees missed their chance to take advantage of the draft.

  3. Baseball Intellect (I think?) ranks him the Yankees #2 prospect, behind Jesus Montero.

    I just really like the name Dellin Betances, it rolls off the tongue.

  4. steve (different one) says:

    Mike, you’ve said this before, but what do you think is Tampa’s rotation to start the season?

  5. Reggie C. says:

    What ML pitcher has Daniel Cabrera physique + stuff … but actual command ?

  6. Jamal G. says:

    New Utrecht, huh? Cool, that’s my older brother’s alma mater. Oh, and the piece about him buying his parents a home in Colombia is cool, I thought he was Dominican.

  7. “Betances was assigned to the Rookie level Gulf Coast League Yanks after signing, and used his bonus money to buy his parents a house in Bogota after the summer.”

    I wonder how many houses in Bogota you could buy with $1M USD. I’m gonna say seven or eight.

  8. Ace says:

    Great post. Thanks for linking the vids.

  9. Old Ranger says:

    I only jumped on his band wagon in 2007 after seeing him pitch. He CAN be the next Joba type pitcher for us. He has a lot of work to do but, he and Brackman by 2010/2011 along with Phil and Joba and possible Zack…one hell of a rotation!
    One (two) big problem is going to be CC and AJ what do we do with them? What do we do with the guys coming up; Phil, Betances, Brackman and Zack?
    Obviously all of them are not going to be as good as they are projected (maybe). If even two of them become as good as advertised, one dominate rotation we could have.
    What a problem to have!

  10. pat says:

    Mike these prospect profiles really suck. They definitely do not get me super giddy and excited for next season. When I read them they do not make me extremely optimistic about the future of our beloved organization. I am definitely not looking forward to every single DOF next season with baited breath (and roofies!). Maybe now you can call that lady at my soccer games you’re always looking at!

  11. Mike Pop says:

    Mike, he would probably be better suited for the pen right?

    After all a 2.40 for a relieverr over 60 innings is better than a 3.40 over 200 innings for a starter.

    To the 8th with him!

    • Joey says:

      Pfh, he’ll never be good enough for the 8th inning role…

      • Mike Pop says:

        Imagine how good the pen would be after Mo GOD retires? 5 inning game baby!!!!!!!! Who cares what happens in those first 5 innings, it is all about the shutdown pen.

        6th-Coke
        7th-Betances
        8th-Brackman
        9th-Joba

  12. Mike Pop says:

    Does he have more upside than any other pitcher in our system?

  13. “Betances works primarily with two pitches: a four seam fastball that sits in the mid-90’s and touches 98, and a hard downer curveball… Betances’ changeup is in it’s infancy stages, and the Yanks have had him toy with a two seamer.

    After a dominant second half with Charleston, Betances is ready to move up to High-A Tampa. Unless he devastates the Florida State League over the first ten or twelve weeks of the season, he’ll likely remain in Tampa for all of ‘09… He’s very much a project, likely to need a full season at each level, but he’s a project with enormous upside and true ace potential… Betances doesn’t have to be added to the 40-man roster until after the 2010 season, so there’s no need to rush him through the system.”

    So, tell me what conclusions that I’m drawing from this are incorrect:

    1) As he’s a starter who only has two pitches, the focus for him over the next two years will be working on mastering a repeatable, stress-free delivery and developing that third and fourth pitch

    2) That with 2009-Tampa, 2010-Trenton, and 2011-Scranton, we’re looking at a 2012 ETA if all goes well

    3) Dellin Betances once bowled a perfect 300. Without a ball. He wasn’t even in a bowling alley.

  14. Mike Pop says:

    Seems like every day on the Network there is always a 2007 W.S. game lol.

    Whenever I turn it on, BAM the Sox score.

  15. NC Saint says:

    Mike, another great profile, but I have one big complaint. The word ‘literally’ is in serious trouble these days. Be part of the solution, not part of the problem. Betances does not breath fire on the mound. He does not swallow Tokyo civilians whole. He is tall, and throws a baseball very hard. This may make him a monster on the mound, but not literally.

  16. Mike Pop says:

    He’s definitely my favorite Yankee prospect. Really hope he turns out to be what he is capable of. Be awesome to see that “monstrous” rotation at work.

    • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi says:

      I’m with you on that… AND he’s from Brooklyn. How freaking cool will it be if he pans out.

  17. UNION YES. says:

    lol @ 6b

  18. Ed says:

    Back up this statement with data.

  19. greg says:

    Anyone an espn insider? Keith Law put out his rankings and I can only see AJack, wondering where Montero checked in and if anyone else did in the top 100. Also can only see his top 10 organizational rankings. I’m guessing the yanks are around 15-16, can anyone tell me?

    • Joey says:

      Dunno if I can copy and paste it, if not Joe/Ben/Mike can delete, but Yanks come in at 15:

      15. New York Yankees: For the first time in several years, the Yankees’ system is light on impact talent, with major question marks on each of the top four prospects. The 2008 draft class doesn’t offer much hope — the Yankees’ first pick reversed course on them midsummer and decided to go to college; their third pick had a medical issue and didn’t agree to terms; and the resulting crop of players doesn’t offer much upside.

      • billbybob says:

        Can you also tell us which Yankees made the top 100 prospect list? There is no way I am paying money for some ESPN insider crap.

      • Brian Cashman is Watching says:

        In terms of rankings, not having a first round pick or a second round pick hurts. The ranking could be considerably higher with Cole or Bittle in the system. That’s the “impact talent” that Law looks for in his rankings. It could be the right decision depending on who is available this year. Considering Cole’s immaturity and violent delivery, maybe someone better is available this year. Or maybe no one falls to New York and Cole was a better option.

        In terms of compensation, if the Yankees do not sign their first round or second round picks this year (the compensation picks from last year’s draft), they do not get them next year. It’s a one shot deal.

  20. A.D. says:

    Basically Dellin + Brackman have the opportunity to be the best 1 – 2 punch in baseball

  21. Matt L says:

    Mike,

    I remember the day he was drafted, it was so frustrating, it was the first draft I followed and you were updating us, and IGWT just crashed. I do remember you mentioning that he you be a great pick well before the draft.

  22. Chris says:

    Damn Mike…you nailed 3 out of your 4 2006 draft picks on your old blog. You must have been ecstatic at the time. And you wanted Betances over Chamberlain. It’s entirely possible that it is still too early to tell.

  23. daneptizl says:

    Wicked.

  24. Drew says:

    sounds good. hope to see him in AAA in a few years.

  25. AL says:

    Last year he won the 1st Deline Betances award and gave the one million signing bonus to charity.

  26. [...] 6. Dellin Betances, RHSP, 21 Perhaps the biggest project in the entire system, Betances took a major step forward this year after returning from a bum shoulder that caused him to miss all of June. Prior to the injury Betances was walking 6.54 batters per nine innings, but when he returned he cut that down to 2.83. His strikeout rate never wavered from approximately 10.5 Kper9, but his hit rate did jump a bit (6.05 Hper9 to 7.46) simply because he was putting more pitches in the strike zone. Betances struggles with his mechanics because he’s so big (6?8?, 245 lbs), and it’s going to take a few years to straighten things out. With a fastball that touches the upper-90’s and a power curve, there’s no doubt Betances has frontline potential. His changeup and ability to control the running game need work, typical of 20 year old pitchers. He’ll be part of a star studded High-A Tampa rotation in 2009. [...]

  27. [...] Goldstein on Dellin Betances (sub. req’d): “Whatever magic the Yankee coaching staff has pulled with Andrew Brackman [...]

  28. [...] Dellin Betances got some love on this week’s Prospect Hot Sheet as the tenth hottest prospect in the minors. Rob Lyerly sheds a single tear. [...]

  29. [...] sure you scroll down for tonight’s game thread. Secondly, Kevin Goldstein throws some love Dellin Betances‘ way (sub. req’d)… Just as scary (as Betances’ stats), one of [...]

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