Betances with the New York Yankees in 2015
|New York Yankees – No. 68|
March 23, 1988 |
New York City, New York
|September 22, 2011, for the New York Yankees|
(through July 5, 2017)
|Earned run average||2.27|
|Career highlights and awards|
Dellin Betances (/ /; born March 23, 1988) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the New York Yankees of Major League Baseball (MLB). He made his MLB debut with the Yankees in 2011, and was named an MLB All-Star in 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017.
Betances was born in Washington Heights, Manhattan. His parents, Jaime and Maria, immigrated to the United States from the Dominican Republic. Jaime is a boxer and drives for a car service. Betances has two older brothers and a younger sister. Spanish was Betances' first language. The family moved to the Lower East Side when he was ten years old.
Betances attended many New York Yankees games with his family as a child. At the age of 10, Betances attended the perfect game of then-Yankees pitcher David Wells in 1998, sitting with the Bleacher Creatures. He credits his family taking him to Yankee games with his choosing baseball over basketball. He played baseball in the summer in the Youth Service League.
Betances attended Progress High School within the Grand Street Campus in Brooklyn, New York. As a freshman, Betances was 6 feet 4 inches (1.93 m) tall, and could throw a fastball as fast as 85 miles per hour (137 km/h). By his junior year in 2005, Betances could throw upwards of 90 miles per hour (140 km/h). In 2005, Betances was named an Aflac All-American, the first player from New York City to receive the honor. He also played for the Team USA Junior National Team. By his senior year in 2006, Betances was 6 feet 9 inches (2.06 m) tall. SchoolSports.com rated Betances as the tenth best high school prospect in 2006.
Betances was expected to be chosen in the first round of the 2006 Major League Baseball Draft. However, he committed to attend Vanderbilt University on a baseball scholarship to play for the Vanderbilt Commodores and had a high signing bonus demand, which led him to fall in the draft. The Yankees selected Betances in the eighth round of the draft and gave him a $1 million signing bonus to forgo his commitment to Vanderbilt.
Betances was rated the Yankees' third best prospect for 2007, and their fifth best for 2009, according to Baseball America. He spent 2007 with the Staten Island Yankees of the Class A-Short Season New York–Penn League and 2008 with the Charleston RiverDogs of the Class A South Atlantic League. In 2009, he pitched for the Tampa Yankees of the Class A-Advanced Florida State League. He struggled with Tampa, as he pitched to a 2–5 win–loss record with a 5.48 earned run average (ERA) in 11 games started, before suffering an elbow injury in June. Betances had surgery late in the 2009 season, which was erroneously reported as Tommy John surgery, but was instead a ligament reinforcement procedure.
Betances began the 2010 season with Tampa, and received a midseason promotion to the Trenton Thunder of the Class AA Eastern League. Following the 2010 season, Betances was added to the Yankees' 40 man roster. He began the 2011 season with Trenton, and was promoted to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees of the Class AAA International League on August 13.
New York Yankees
On September 8, 2011, Betances was promoted to the majors for the first time. Betances had a pitching session in the street in front of his Teaneck, New Jersey home with his brother before joining up with the Yankees in Anaheim. Betances and fellow prospect Andrew Brackman made their MLB debuts on September 22, 2011. Betances made only two appearances for the Yankees.
Betances spent the 2012 season with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. On May 10, 2013, amid continued struggles with command, the Yankees announced that they would shift Betances to the bullpen. He was optioned back to Triple-A on May 24, 2013 after Ivan Nova was activated from the disabled list. After pitching to a 1.46 ERA with 63 strikeouts in 49 1⁄3 innings as a relief pitcher with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, the Yankees recalled Betances on August 11.
Betances made the Yankees' Opening Day roster in 2014. He was elected to his first All Star Game in 2014, becoming the first Yankees rookie pitcher—along with teammate Masahiro Tanaka—to earn an All-Star Game nod since Spec Shea in 1947.
On September 17, 2014, Betances struck out Kevin Kiermaier in the eighth inning of a game against the Tampa Bay Rays to notch his 131st strikeout, surpassing Mariano Rivera's Yankees team record for strikeouts by a relief pitcher, set in 1996. Betances did so pitching 20 innings fewer than Rivera.
Despite the physical height listed above for him in high school, Betances was listed on the Yankees' 2014 roster as being 6-foot-8, which is why he chose his uniform number of 68. In 2014, Betances made 70 appearances out of the bullpen with a 5–0 record, a 1.40 ERA, and his 135 strikeouts led the majors amongst all relief pitchers. Betances finished in 3rd place in voting for the American League Rookie of the Year Award, behind Angels pitcher Matt Shoemaker and White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu.
Before the 2015 season, New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi announced that Betances and Andrew Miller would split the closing job to begin the season. Although he gave up no earned runs in April, his first save opportunity came only on May 2, when he struck out all four batters he faced, to earn his first save of the season. He was elected to his second All-Star game. On August 19, he struck out his 100th batter of the season, making it two seasons in a row in which he achieved that feat. He became the first Yankees reliever in franchise history to reach the 100-strikeout club in back-to-back seasons, needing only 64 innings to do it this year. He finished 15th in the 2015 AL Cy Young voting.
Before the 2016 season began, the Yankees acquired closer Aroldis Chapman, who was traded in mid-season. While with the Yankees, the triumvirate of Betances, Chapman and Miller became known by fans as "No Runs–D.M.C., owing to the relievers' dominance of opposing hitters. Betances was named to his third straight MLB All-Star Game. He became the Yankees closer after the Yankees traded Chapman and Miller. For the third straight season, Betances struck out 100 batters. Overall in 2016, Betances made 73 appearances with 126 strikeouts, a 3−6 record, a 3.08 ERA, and 12 saves.
On May 14, 2017, Betances became the Yankees' closer in place of an injured Aroldis Chapman.
In 2013, Betances was tracked by the PITCHf/x system as having thrown a four-seam fastball averaging 96 miles per hour (154 km/h), a slurve averaging 82 miles per hour (132 km/h), and a changeup averaging 89 miles per hour (143 km/h). He is known for his high strikeout rate.
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