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Betances has impressive raw stuff but will need to translate that into results to reach the majors in 2013.
It seems like just yesterday that the "Killer B's" were proclaimed to be the savior and future of the Yankees pitching staff: former first-round pick Andrew Brackman, tall and hard-throwing right-hander Dellin Betances and Manny Banuelos, who Mariano Rivera called the best pitching prospect he's ever seen.
Two seasons later, Betances was demoted to Double-A, Banuelos will sit out the entirety of 2013 after undergoing Tommy John surgery, and Brackman's contract option was declined before he signed a one-year deal with the Cincinnati Reds before the 2012 season.
The 2013 Yankees farm system will feature only one B of the three Killer B's, Dellin Betances. Betances has always had some of the best raw stuff in the minors, with a fastball that reaches the upper 90s at times and a hard power curve that has the potential to be a plus major league pitch.
However, like many tall pitchers with great stuff, control and consistency in mechanics eludes Betances, causing him trouble in Double-A and Triple-A when he should be dominating major league hitters. After walking 69 batters in 74.1 innings in Triple-A, Betances earned himself a demotion to Double-A to figure out his mechanics last season.
The demotion did not prove helpful. While he cut his walks down slightly (30 in 56.2 innings), he still walked an unacceptable number. The decrease in walks was probably attributable to Betances pumping the ball down the middle of the plate, a trend that resulted in a .319 opponent batting average.
Betances needs to learn to keep the ball in the strike zone, but also keep it on the corners so that hitters at any level don't crush him on a regular basis. If he figures it all out in the Arizona Fall League and in Triple-A at the start of next season, he will almost surely be considered for a bullpen role in the Bronx.