What ever happened to the Killer B’s? Just two years ago, Manny Banuelos, Dellin Betances, and Andrew Brackman were three of the top 5 or 6 prospects in the Yankee system. Obviously Brackman was cut loose because of control issues, and Banuelos is now in the process of recovering from Tommy John surgery. (Though he’s already in Tampa for some reason) Betances has faced his own set of issues. His fastball and breaking pitches are as strong as ever, but control has eluded the 24 year old. I’ve seen a few top Yankee prospect rankings that still kept Banuelos in the top 10, but good luck finding Betances on any of them.
The tall right-handed pitcher was awful last year, pitching to a 6.44 ERA between Scranton and Trenton. He maintained a decent 19.6 K% through that time, but his walk rates skyrocketed. In Scranton, Betances was nearly striking out as many hitters as he was walking (19.0%), but did fair better in the demotion to Trenton. There he maintained a 19.7 K% and an 11.2 BB%. In comparison to Brett Marshall, a top 10 prospect for many, Betances’ strikeout and walk rates were a bit higher than Marshall’s 18.1 K% and 8.0 BB%. Though the numbers are a lot closer than perceived, Betances put up a 6.51 ERA where Marshall put up a 3.52 ERA. Obviously there’s a stark difference in results, and this is largely due to Betances’ incredibly low 58.0 LOB%. This is one of the failures of ERA, and FIP offers us a much more realistic look at both pitcher’s performance, with Marshall sporting a 4.09 FIP, and Betances at 4.15.
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