One of the Yankees' brightest young pitching prospects, Dellin Betances started the year at Trenton before finally getting a chance to show his stuff at the major league level in September.
It wasn't the greatest debut in the world, but he finally got a chance to get his feet wet in the world of major league baseball. I caught up with Betances at Yankee Stadium in late September in the Bronx. Here's what he had to say.
Josh Norris: It probably wasn't the way you wanted to debut, but was it at least nice to finally get that notch on your belt?
Dellin Betances: Yeah. First one out there, I definitely got emotions going and adrenalin. I was just throwing mostly -- I didn't really pitch. You know, I was happy to get the first one out of the way. Family was here, a lot of people supporting me and had my back after the game.
JN: Did your family know you were coming into that game, or did they just buy tickets every day and hope you got a chance?
DB: I had a feeling, just the way the game was going. I didn't know I was necessarily pitching that day, but they came to every game.
JN: When you were here last year at this time (for the Yankees' rookie development camp), what did you learn that helped you this time around?
DB: Just the way everything works, just how to go about your business and work. Be responsible, responsibility -- that's most of what I learned.
JN: Who taught you guys? Who sat with you and explained what it's like in the big leagues?
DB: Last year, if I recall, I tried to stay as much as I can with some of the rookies, like Nova was here, Nunez, but as far as veterans like CC. I spoke to CC pretty good, and Mariano Rivera. Those guys just told me some stuff about how to approach the game and always try to have fun.
JN: If I'm correct, this is your first time being active during a Yankees-Red Sox game, what's the first taste of the rivalry like?
DB: It's great. This is what I always watched when I was younger. To be a part of this is awesome. I've witnessed the last week or so in the time I've been here and I've seen some great things, like Mariano breaking the record and us clinching the division.
I've seen (Yogi Berra and Reggie Jackson) around the last couple of days. This is awesome, I mean, as far as Reggie Jackson goes, these are guys you always hear about -- Yogi Berra -- how they were treated here in New York, what they did here and the championships they won. Now, to be here with Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, these are guys that always play when I watch when I was younger, so it's pretty cool to be with them.
JN: You were around for the Yankees clinching the division. As someone who'd only been up for a little while, what was it like being a part of all that?
DB: It was awesome. It was pretty weird because I felt like I didn't do anything for that. It was pretty weird, but I tried to celebrate as much as I can with them and just know that this is something that I want to get used to and just try to contribute this year.
JN: Where were you when you found out you were coming up?
DB: I was in Scranton. Right after the game, Scott Aldred just pulled a couple of us aside. Honestly, I really didn't believe it. It started hitting me when I flew into Anaheim, Orange County. I really couldn't believe what was going on.
JN: As a New Yorker, had you seen much of the West Coast before?
DB: I've been to San Diego, that's about it. San Diego when I was 15 to play youth league for a couple of weeks, but Orange County's beautiful. It was great, and Toronto was a good experience too.