Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Watch Out For Dellin Betances

We’ve heard a lot about Dellin Betances over the last few years but he has not been very good in his limited big league experience. The Yankees have a lot of spots still up for grabs in their bullpen. Betances will be fighting and will likely get one of those spots. With that being said, 2014 could be a very big year for the right-hander. He can also prove to be a very valuable piece of the Yankees pen.

Don’t let his struggles with the big club fool you because he has very good pitches. Betances has an excellent fastball that can be clocked as high as 97 mph. He has a changeup which he uses to fool hitters and a plus curveball. He certainly has what it takes to shut guys down but unfortunately, his control problems are what have caused him to struggle.

In 2009, Betances’ age-21 season, he struggled at the Single-A level posting a 5.48 ERA in 11 starts. In 2010 however, he dominated Single-A going 8-1 with a 1.77 ERA in 14 starts. He was called up to Double-A later in the year and posted a 3.77 ERA in three starts for the Trenton Thunder.

In 2011, the right-hander went 4-6 with a 3.42 ERA in  21 starts and was called up to the Triple-A affiliate, Scranton-Wilkes Barre Yankees. In just four starts there, he posted a 5.14 ERA before being called up to the majors.  He saw just 2.2 innings there and surrendered 2 runs giving him a 6.75 ERA.

In 2012, he started back down in Double-A with the Trenton Thunder and struggled greatly. In 10 starts and one relief appearance, Betances posted a lousy 6.51 ERA. He was called back up to Triple-A half way through the year and did just as bad. In 16 starts, he posted a 6.39 ERA. In 2013, he was moved to the bullpen for most of the year. He made only six starts in 38 games but saw a big improvement ending the year with a 2.68 ERA. However, he struggled after being called up to the big show. In 5 innings, he posted a 10.80 ERA.

Dellin Betances is turning just 26 in March and is entering his prime. Although he has struggled in his little time in the majors, he has real potential. A move to the bullpen is what Betances needed. He’ll probably start as a long relief man if he makes the Yankees. His stuff is so good that if he fixes his control problems, he could be like Phil Hughes was to the Yankees’ bullpen in 2009 and become one of their best weapons. As Spring Training draws closer, Dellin Betances is definitely a guy you want to keep your eye on.

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