Yankees Prospects No. 4: Dellin Betances

FORT MYERS, FL - MARCH 14: Pitcher Dellin Betances #72 of the New York Yankees pitches against the Boston Red Sox during a Grapefruit League Spring Training Game at City of Palms Park on March 14, 2011 in Fort Myers, Florida. (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)

Date/Location of Birth: March 23, 1988 in New York City

Height/Weight: 6'8", 255 lbs.

Position: RHP

The second of the Killer B's, Dellin Betances attended Grand Street High School in Brooklyn and grew up a Yankee fan. (He says he was in attendance for David Wells' perfect game in 1998.) He was selected in the eighth round of the draft in 2006 and signed for a way-above-slot $1 million to forego Vanderbilt University. As a senior, Betances was named an All-American and played for the U.S. Junior National Team.

He probably has the highest ceiling of any pitcher in the Yankees system. His fastball can reach the upper 90s and his curveball has the potential to be a knee-buckler. His extreme height is another reason he's maintained such a high K rate, but is also to blame for his high BB rate. Speaking of his K rate, it's been remarkably consistent: between 10.0 and 10.5 at every level of the minors. 

Betances has been in the system for six seasons but is still just 23. Elbow problems have reduced his workload, and he's reached 90 innings just once (2008). The following season he only threw 44 innings and was shut down in order to have ligament replacement surgery (a lesser version of Tommy John Surgery) and missed the early part of 2010.

He's off to a tremendous start in Double-A this year (3-1, 28.2 ip, .94 ERA, 18 h, 15 bb, 29 k), but the numbers should be taken with a healthy dose of salt. His BB rate is still too high (4.5/9), represented by his 3.29 FIP.

ETA: Dellin looks destined for Scranton this season and a possible "cup o' coffee" in September. Though he'll probably be in the running (in name only) for a rotation spot in Spring Training, a more likely debut is around mid-season next year.

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