- Ben Heller
- United States
- Right-Handed Pitcher
- 2013 Draft
- Trade - 7/31/2016
- Signing Date
- Rule 5 Year
- MLB 40-Man
- August 5, 1991
Is married to Martha, a middle school math teacher. Graduated from Whitewater High School (Wisc.), where he pitched, caught and played SS and 3B…attended Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais (pronounced “BURR-buh-nay), Ill., approximately 50 miles south of Chicago… In December 2017, he and his wife traveled to Guatemala, delivering Christmas gifts to children in a local orphanageand donating ovens and water ﬁlters to families living in impoverished communities.
Was 1-0 with a 0.82 ERA (11.0IP, 1ER) in nine relief appearances over three stints with the Yankees (6/12-14, 7/8-16 and 9/1-10/1)…allowed 4-of-7 inherited runners to score…retired 8-of-9 ﬁrst batters faced… Made his season debut in 6/13 loss at Los Angeles-AL, allowing a “walk-oﬀ” inﬁeld single in the 11th (0.1IP, 1H, 1BB)… Tossed a career-high 2.1 scoreless innings in 9/28 loss vs. Tampa Bay (1BB, 2K)… Made 41 relief appearances for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, going 5-4 with six saves, a 2.88 ERA (56.1IP, 18ER) and 82K…led Yankees farmhands (min. 50.0IP) with a 13.10 K/9.0IP ratio…at the time of his ﬁnal call-up, his .172 (34-for-198) opponents’ BA and 13.10 K/9.0IP ratio (56.1IP, 82K) ranked second among relievers in the International League.
Went 1-0 with a 6.43 ERA (7.0IP, 5ER) in 10 relief appearances over two stints with the Yankees (8/11-13 and 8/23-10/2)…retired 5-of-10 first batters faced…allowed 4-of-5 inherited runners to score. Was signed to a Major League contract and selected to the Yankees’ 25-man roster from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on 8/11…made his Major League debut in 8/26 win vs. Baltimore, tossing a scoreless eighth inning (1.0IP). Allowed a two-run HR in 0.2IP (3H, 1BB, 1K) in 8/28 loss vs. Baltimore, recording his first career strikeout (Chris Davis, swinging). Earned his first Major League win on 8/31 at Kansas City, tossing a perfect 12th inning (1.0IP). In six games with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, was 0-1 with one save and a 1.42 ERA (6.1IP, 1ER, 7K). Was acquired by the Yankees from Cleveland on 7/31 with OF Clint Frazier, LHP Justus Sheffield and RHP J.P. Feyereisen in exchange for LHP Andrew Miller. Combined to go 3-2 with 12 saves in 13 chances and a 1.73 ERA (41.2IP, 23H, 8ER, 12BB, 48K, 2HR) in 43 relief appearances with Triple-A Columbus (28G) and Double-A Akron (15G), holding batters to a combined .159 (23-for-145) batting average with a 0.84 WHIP.
Combined with Single-A Lynchburg and Double-A Akron to go 0-2 with 12 saves, a 4.02 ERA (40.1IP, 18ER) and 58K in 41 relief appearances…tied for fourth among Indians minor leaguers with 12 saves… Following the season, was tabbed by Baseball America as having the “Best Fastball” in the Indians organization.
Combined with Single-A Lake County and Single-A Carolina to go 5-1 with ﬁve saves, a 2.38 ERA (53.0IP, 14ER) and 81K in 45 relief appearances… Led all Midwest League pitchers (min. 30.0IP) with a 15.57 K/9.0IP ratio (37.0IP, 64K)… Following the season, was tabbed by MiLB.com as an Organization All-Star.
Made his professional debut, going 1-3 with a 3.13 ERA (37.1IP, 13ER) and 39K in 21 games (one start) with short-season Single-A Mahoning Valley.