On top of his high velocity fastball, Betances’ bread and butter is his curve. He has a swinging strike rate of 15% or more with an O-Swing of over 30% nearly every season. This results in a K rate of over 50% with this pitch which is unfathomable.
Betances threw only five fastballs in 2019 so that is why it’s average is at 94 mph. It has been at 98 or above every year prior where he gets a 12% or higher swinging strike rate.
Averaging 97.7 mph (and touching almost 101 at the top end), the fastball sits at an elite speed. Unfortunately, the elite speed doesn’t always mean automatic results. After a rough start, he ended the season with a .270 batting average against alongside a 143 wRC+. He also struggled with his command and gave up a 25% HR/FB rate on the fastball, which led to getting hit around more than he has in the past.
Considering that Betances’ fastball is thrown at such a high velocity, it’s no surprise that his curve sits at an above-average speed by about six mph. Unlike most curves, his averages less sink than his slider. His curve is a devastating strikeout pitch but also a reliable offering to get ahead early in the count. It has absolutely dominated batters, and there’s no reason to think it won’t continue.
If you thought Betances only threw one breaking pitch, it’s not your fault. On average, the movement between the two pitches is very similar, with his slider getting more vertical break and a more sweeping horizontal movement at times. He throws the slider less often and later in counts but still gets elite-level results with a ton of swing and miss while amazingly keeping the pitch in the zone as well.