Danny Betancourt Chacón
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 11", Weight 187 lb.
Danny Betancourt was a star in Cuba for two years but then faded away.
Betancourt had an impressive 2003-2004 Serie Nacional season at age 22. He was 12-4 with a 2.09 ERA, finishing second in ERA behind only Luis Borroto. The Santiago de Cuba right-hander was one win behind Carlos Yánes for the league lead.
Betancourt was added to the Cuban national team for the 2004 Olympics. He went 1-0 with 2 saves and a 3.46 ERA in the Olympics, allowing only 5 hits in 13 innings while striking out 12. He tied Pedro Luis Lazo and Jeff Williams for the Olympic lead in saves that year. He allowed two runs in 3 1/3 relief innings against Team Canada in the semifinals but got the victory in a 8-5 win. Despite having been used in that outing, Cuba turned to Betancourt again in the 9th inning of the Gold Medal game, relieving Adiel Palma with two on, none out and a 6-2 lead. Betancourt retired former NL All-Star Dave Nilsson on a long fly to CF Carlos Tabares. He then got major leaguer Glenn Williams for out number two and whiffed Brendan Kingman (the Australian Baseball League single-season home run king and a former California League batting champion) to end it, locking up a Gold for the Cubans.
Betancourt had another fine season in 2004-2005, going 11-4 with a 2.51 ERA. He was 7th in the league in ERA and led with 4 shutouts. He threw a shutout in game five of the finals as Santiago de Cuba won the pennant. He was 15 strikeouts behind Adiel Palma, the league leader, and two wins behind the leaders. He then turned in another fine show for the national team, in the 2005 Baseball World Cup. Betancourt went 2-0 with a save and a 1.84 ERA, striking out 26 in 14 2/3 IP. He tied for 4th in the Cup in wins and was third in strikeouts behind Dae-sung Choi and Pedro Luis Lazo. In the Gold Medal Game, Betancourt pitched 7 1/3 innings of scoreless, 4-hit ball, striking out 8, against South Korea for the win; Lazo finished up the shutout for the save.
Betancourt's production fell after that - he was 3-0 with a 3.72 ERA in 2005-2006, had a 6.33 ERA and no decisions in 7 games in 2006-2007 and had a 0-1, 6.30 record in only three appearances in 2007-2008.
Betancourt made a comeback and was a late addition to Cuba for the 2009 World Baseball Classic. He tossed 1 1/3 scoreless innings in the Classic to tie for the Cuban lead in ERA.
Danny finished 2008-2009 8-6 with a 4.56 ERA. He tied Norge Vera, Yunieski Maya and Ismel Jiménez for the league lead with two shutouts, the only category he made the top 10 in. Danny was 9-6 with a 4.25 ERA in 2009-2010. He was 9th in the loop with 82 strikeouts, tied for 7th with 51 walks, led with 23 hit batters, tied for the most homers allowed (19) while just missing the top 10 in wins.