Betances has intimidating size and the velocity to match, working between 92 and 98 MPH and consistently hitting 94-95. He maintains his velocity through games and the fastball has excellent sinking action, which shows up statistically in low home run rates throughout his career. He mixes in a cutter, but his key secondary pitch is a knee-buckling knuckle-curveball, a true plus pitch although his command of it is not always consistent. His changeup was weak earlier in his career, but he's refined it and the offering now draws solid-average grades, though Eastern League observers say he needs to use it more often. Many scouts saw him as a future closer earlier in his career, but the improvement in his changeup, combined with the curve and powerful fastball, give him a starter's arsenal.
The biggest issue for Betances is simple command and control. He'll show sharp control in his best outings, but he also has games where he has serious issues finding the strike zone. Even when he throws strikes, they aren't always quality strikes (this is the difference between control and command). His stuff is so good that he can get away with spotty command in the minors, but major league hitters would present a more difficult challenge. Scouts trace these problems to mechanical inconsistency, an understandable issue given his size.
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Prospect maven John Sickels pens a brief profile on a prospect each day on his wonderful blog, Minor League Ball. Yesterday, Sickels turned his attention to Dellin Betances. I would suggest that you take the jump and read the entire post, but here's the meat of the write-up: