A few years ago, the Yankees looked to be on the verge of having multiple young arms move up to the big leagues around the same time. Andrew Brackman, Manny Banuelos, and Dellin Betances were all preparing for their last jump into the Bronx. Banuelos and Betances received most of the attention, and rightly so. Brackman has reportedly quit baseball and is going to try to play pro basketball in Europe. Unfortunately, Banuelos had Tommy John surgery and is currently working his way through the Yankees’ minor league system. Dellin Betances has had his own injuries, but has started the 2014 season in the bigs, and looks like he’s is here to stay.
Betances has thrown 15.2 innings and has 28 strikeouts. Think about that for a moment. That’s more than 16 strikeouts per 9 innings pitched. That’s currently the best rate of any pitcher in the major leagues with at least 15 innings pitched. His walk rate is still high, at nearly half a walk per inning. However, it is still much better than it has been in the past. Being able to control his walks will determine whether he can eventually make it to starter status.
In recent years, the Yankees have had a number of arms not live up to their initial promise. Joba Chamberlain, Ian Kennedy, Phil Hughes, and Edwar Ramirez all come to mind. It was beginning to look like Betances was going to join this list. With a fastball that is reaching the upper 90s, Betances is overpowering hitters out after out. With the exception of Masahiro Tanaka, the Yankees are building their pitching from within this year. Along with Vidal Nuno, Betances and his 1.72 ERA are being depended on more every time the Yankees take the field.