- Dellin Betances (New York Yankees)
Now we get to the man who stole the thunder from David Robertson. I would be lying to you if I told you that I knew a lot about Dellin Betances before 2014. Betances was drafted by the Yankees in 2007 and didn’t make it to the majors until 2011. His run in ’11 didn’t work out so he was optioned, and called back up in September of 2013. Neither of his first two runs amounted to anything. He pitched in eight games, completed 7.2 innings, and gave up eight runs (9.39 ERA). He, of course, did not pitch the minimum amount of innings for a rookie, so his rookie year did not come until 2014.
The breakout of Dellin Betances was fun to watch. To see a kid who plays the most boring position in baseball (non-closing reliever) gain fame that quickly was unlike anything I’ve seen. He had Yankees’ fans begging for David Robertson (a good reliever in his own right) to be pulled in favor of Betances every time Robertson even thought about making a mistake. Well, that happened to be Robertson’s contract year. So, with Dellin now a fan favorite, there was no point in bring back David.
Betances works off of three pitches: 47.3% of the time he throws a fastball (average about 96 mph), 43.7% of the time he throws a knuckle curve (110 Ks and a BAA of only .075), and a cutter that he throws 5.1% of the time (this pitch is still a work in progress for Betances but if mastered, will make him one of the scariest pitchers in the big leagues).
Betances’ hype is no joke. He is a top fantasy option, a top closer, and a strikeout machine. My top four are a hard group to break into; but if this 26-year-old can bring what he had last year to his new closer role, I would have a hard time finding an argument against him.