There was an article in the NY Post today written by Dan Martin in which he claims that Yankees pitching prospect Dellin Betances had a “disappointing 2011″ season. In some respects that may be true, but within the overall context of Betances’ career, 2011 was certainly a big step forward in his development.
The biggest reason Martin likely called Betances’ year disappointing is because his ERA jumped from 2.11 in 2010 to 3.70 this year. His walk rate also jumped from 2.3 to an unimpressive 5.0 in his latest campaign.
Obviously both of those are bad trends, however it ignores the fact that he took a significant jump from High-A/Double-A to Double-A/Triple-A. It’s only natural that his ERA would go up a bit and that hitters would be more selective. It is certainly something he has to work on, especially his command.
Going into the 2012 season though, being able to dominate minor leaguers wasn’t exactly a goal for him. His biggest goal in 2012 he achieved, with flying colors I might add. That is to stay healthy and pitch a full season.
You might say, isn’t that the goal for every minor leaguer? It is, but it had more importance for Betances than the average prospect.
There are a lot of things to like about Betances, his size, his stuff, his power. However he has always lacked the ability to stay healthy. He struggled to stay on the field in 2007, had a good year in 2007, but also spent some time on the DL. He missed almost all of 2009 and started 2010 on the DL too. So the most important thing for him was to get through an entire season healthy.
He managed to do that in 2011 when he made 25 starts and tossed 126.1 innings. That’s a perfect jump from the 85.1 innings he tossed the year before and sets him up to throw 150 innings next year with no worry about his arm and 200 innings in what should be his first full season in the Bronx in 2013.
Yeah, that ERA and BB/9 did go up, he’ll have to work on that. But he should have plenty of time in 2012 as he isn’t expected to realistically compete for a rotation spot. Thanks to him completing his first and only full, healthy season in the Yankees organization he is perfectly on track to do so.