Prospect Profile: Dellin Betances

04/13/2012 12:51 PM ET
By Lou DiPietro

Dellin Betances made his MLB debut in 2011.(AP)
Standing 6-foot-8 and weighing 260 pounds, Dellin Betances is an imposing figure both on and off the mound.

He’s also a New York boy – born in Manhattan and raised in both that borough as well as Brooklyn – who has a former Yankees pitcher to thank for helping him choose his career path.

On May 17, 1998, Betances was in the bleachers at Yankee Stadium the day David Wells threw his perfect game against the Minnesota Twins. Until that point, Betances was more of a basketball player (a fact his height might lead you to believe), but that warm May day in the Bronx changed his perspective forever.

Eight years after he witnessed history, Betances was drafted by the Yankees in the eighth round of the 2006 MLB Draft and gave up a chance to pitch at Vanderbilt University to join the organization. That summer, he notched a 1.16 ERA and an impressive 27 strikeouts in just 23 1/3 innings of work for the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League Yankees, early on showing flashes of the stuff that has made him a much-ballyhooed prospect over the last few years.

Betances started all but one of the 91 games he appeared in over his first six seasons in the organization, with his best season coming in 2010 – just months after having surgery to stabilize a ligament in his elbow. That summer, Betances dominated at Advanced-A Tampa (8-1, 1.77 ERA, 88 K in 71 innings) before earning a late call-up to Trenton, where he struck out 20 in 14 1/3 innings over three starts.

And, of course, after a strong season at both Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in 2011, Betances earned a September call-up with the Yankees last fall. He made his MLB debut by pitching 2/3 of an inning against Tampa Bay on September 22, and later made his first MLB start in the season finale against the Rays at Tropicana Field on September 28.

The burly right-hander began 2012 at Triple-A, ready for his first full season at the level right below the Bigs. He has made two starts as of April 15, and despite a rough beginning, it’s surely a matter of time before the other half of the “Killer B’s” makes his presence felt at Yankee Stadium once again.

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