Now, I am not here to completely make a crap storm on Dellin Betances one single bit, I just wanna put that out there right away. I am a Yankees fan first, and fantasy guys on my team second. I am simply here to make a cumulative prognosis on stats from last year and how they correlate to this year. In this early part of the preseason, Betances has a manageable ADP of 94, or basically the 5th closer off the books. There are a few factors that I am worried about as we get nearer to the season, and I just wanted to point them out. (As if you were buying me a beer, and we were sitting at a bar swapping war stories, and comparing notches on each others belts.)
I absolutely like Betances this year, but notice I didn’t say love. I like him as a friend, we can get ice cream and ride tandem bicycles down the street singing “Everything is Awesome”. But are they awesome? Well, that’s what I am here to preach to ya. This is my job and you are my congregation. First though, we will sing hymn number 116, which if you Google, is pretty fitting, and I am not going to lie, something I picked completely at random. So stick around, grab a nice spot around my fantasy pulpit, as I am just going to inform and instruct instead of yell and give uselessness that you may have seen in those other Scientology sites. Speaking of other sites…You like Soccer?…You play Fantasy?…How about Fantasy Soccer?…Well, come check out Ralph and I every damn day at Razzball Soccer!
So, coming into this year, it is too obvious that Dellin has the job. Also eerily similar is how his breakout year follows a similar relief giant also referred to me as the GOAT here on numerous occasions, Mariano Rivera. I was young and watched Rivera grow up, hell, I was at his first start as a Yankee, yeah, I said start. Back to topic, in 1996, Rivera was the bee’s knees. His stats that year are all telling, and were apropos for him becoming a fantasy save all-timer. I have included Mo’s last year in a comparative chart so we can better understand what I am talking about.
Now, those stats are pretty close, as both played second fiddle to a more established closers John Wetteland and David Robertson. They both played set-up roles and were the bullpen shutdown 8th inning guys. The following year, Rivera becomes the closer, no problems. But this is where the problem for me comes in, the Yankees didn’t pay the 6th highest RP salary in MLB to a set-up guy in Andrew Miller in 1996. I get why they did it, because building bullpens is the new thing in MLB, and what really worries me is that Dellin’s value this year is being based on him pitching 90 innings and having an abnormal K-rate. That’s what helped boost his value all last year. Just for giggles I looked at the following year for Rivera as his innings (71), multi-innings pitched (13) and K/9 rate (8.5K’s/9) all dropped. With so much value in the extra 35% of the workload at what point is there value in his being taken so high. It’s more of a caveat to look out for then anything else.
Now all the Yankees media this spring training that I can hear is that Betances is the guy and that Girardi likes to have set roles out of the bullpen. But as a fantasy questioner, why spend that much money at a position of question for Miller, for a just-in-case scenario? Just for more reference, Miller makes more money setting up than 26 other closers. So on draft day, take the advice of me and if you draft Dellin in the 8-9th rounds, do yourself a favor. First reap the benefits of his crazy good K numbers, but harness in the expectations as his work load is going to be tempered. Second, draft Miller maybe a round or two early as you want him for two reasons, a handcuff, and the fact that he’s no slouch in the periphs department.