Dellin Betances is one of the best reliever’s in baseball right now. Anyone who does not agree needs to check out his stats; in 37.1 innings, Betances is 4-0 with a 1.69 ERA and has struck out a whopping 63 to 10 walks. The player that he has become today has taken a lot of hard work, and it may not have been possible without his support staff back home.
When the Yankees drafted Dellin Betances out of high school in 2006, and gave him $1 million in the eighth round, very high expectations ensued. Instantly, Betances became a prospect to watch at 6’8″ and 260 lbs., and hitting triple digits on the radar gun. In his first seven starts of his minor league career, he had an ERA of 1.16 and the expectations continued to rise. Before you knew it, Betances was joining fellow Yankee top prospect Manny Banuelos as the future of the Yankee rotation. The Killer B’s is what they were being referred to heading into the 2012 season.
That 2012 season did not go according to plan for Betances. Pitching in both Double-A and Triple-A, Betances simply lost any sense of command of the strike zone. In 131.1 innings, he walked 99 batters and hit 12 guys as well. His mechanics were off and he was falling behind in the count constantly. This combination was not a recipe for success for the big righty, and some were even ready to label him a “bust.” When asked if he ever considered quitting, Betances knew that was never an option.
“I never got to that point, but it was really frustrating,’’ Betances told George King of the New York Post. “But I knew I needed a break.’’
Frustration is common among baseball players. It is the mental make up and how you deal with your frustration that determines how successful you can be. In many cases, it is the support or lack of support that you receive from those who are close to you that helps you through these tough times. For Betances, his family was his crutch in his dark time.
“They have always been there for me,’’ Betances told the New York Post (speaking of his mother, Maria, and father, Jaime, as well as two brothers and a sister). “ We are a close family, and they have always given me great advice. They were definitely there when times were hard and they definitely have helped me to get where I am now.’’
Betances learned about hard work early on growing up in Brooklyn. Just watching his father go to work every day as a taxi driver allowed the young man to understand the hard work it took to support the ones you love. After signing out of high school with the Yankees, the 18 year old (at the time) went ahead and bought a house for his parents. The relationship between this family was just too strong for anything to bring them down.
No one could have predicted the amount of success Dellin Betances has experienced this year. The strides he has made as both a pitcher and a young man since moving to the bullpen is remarkable. Betances has faced so much adversity already in his young career, but you can thank mom and dad for helping him push through to become one of the games best right now.