Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Dellin Betances: A Lower East Side New York Yankee

Dellin will probably be part of the rotation today. Michael Kay keeps referring to him incorrectly as a Brooklynite. That makes him a native New Yorker for sure, but he only attended school in Brooklyn. He was brought up in the Lillian Wald Projects on the Lower East Side. There's nothing more genuine New York than being from the LES.
from the nytimes in 2006

At times, Dellin Betances still has trouble wresting control over the body he was given. The growth spurts have come one after another during his four years at Grand Street Campus High School in Brooklyn, adding five inches to his frame, topping him out at 6 feet 9 inches, a tangle of long limbs and limitless potential.
"But it's hard," he said, "because I just keep growing."
Betances is a rare specimen: He is an 18-year-old right-handed pitching prospect with a fastball in the mid-90's, a well-developed breaking ball and the intimidating stature of a basketball power forward.
That explains the steady parade of scouts who have made their way to Brooklyn this spring, including the dozen or so who stood behind the backstop and watched him pitch a one-hitter, striking out 16 bewildered New Utrecht hitters over seven innings in a first-round Public Schools Athletic League playoff victory in late May.
It also explains why, a few months ago, Betances seemed destined to become the first high school player from New York City to be chosen in the first round of baseball's amateur draft since Manny Ramírez in 1991.
"Down the road, this kid's going to be throwing 100 miles per hour," said Mel Zitter, who coached Betances and Ramírez in his Youth Service League Inc. baseball program. "People understand with Dellin, that down the road, he's going to be a No. 1 or No. 2 major league starter."
But scouting is a fickle science, and in an era in which seasoned college talent tends to trump pure speculative possibility, scouts are reluctant to overvalue a gangly teenager in the days before the draft. Betances could go anywhere from the first to the fifth round, according to several experts.
Andrew Miller, a 6-7 left-handed pitcher from the University of North Carolina, is widely viewed as the top overall prospect in the draft. Kyle Drabek, a pitcher and shortstop and the son of the former major leaguer Doug Drabek, is also expected to be chosen early.
Other notables include Jeffrey Maier, an outfielder who received attention as a Yankees fan who reached a little too far over the fence in a 1996 playoff game; Danny Almonte, the pitcher from Monroe High School who became famous for starring in the Little League World Series when he was two years too old; and Preston Mattingly, a shortstop and the son of Don Mattingly.
The scouts have fretted over Betances' inconsistent mechanics, his decreased velocity earlier in the season and his inexperience. They have also expressed concern about what Aaron Fitt, an assistant editor at Baseball America, described as the "New York hype machine," a shorthand term for the agents and coaches advising Betances about his future.
That machine includes his high school coach, Melvin Martinez, and Zitter, who prides himself on being Betances' sole pitching coach. It includes the agent Jim Murray, with the Houston-based Hendricks Sports Management, whom Betances chose after meeting with representatives from five agencies. And it includes his older brother Anthony, who works for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority; his father, who drives a livery cab; and his mother, who raised him and three other children in the Lillian Wald Houses on the Lower East Side........

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