TRENTON – The New York Yankees number 11 prospect – according to Baseball America – Domingo Acevedo, just stepped to the Double-A mound this week and earned his first victory of the 2017 season with a 6-0 win over Portland. Earlier this year, playing at High-A Tampa, Acevedo was 0-4 with a 4.57 ERA, but he is starting off strong with the Trenton Thunder with an ERA of zero.
“I just came here to compete and pitch,” Acevedo said. “I have to keep working on my objectives: attacking the zone, holding the runners, and the whole game in general.”
His lifetime ERA currently stands at 2.81, but his 10-11 record in the minors is not reflective of his expected achievements as a starting pitcher.
Acevedo professed to know exactly what he needs to work on to be successful at the Double-A level.
One of the things that he is working on is repeating his throws to first: “I am always trying to keep the runners closer to the bases,” he said. “That allows me to focus more on the hitter, knowing that the runner is closer to the base. I was thinking about attacking that strike zone, executing the pitches that I had to execute. If you go up a level, the hitters are going to be better, but I wasn’t focusing on that. I was just focused on attacking the zone.”
He said how he feels a weight being lifted off his shoulders after getting his first win this year, “I feel good getting that “W”, thank God, and I thank the defense and offense on this team.”
At the height of 6’7”, right-handed pitcher, Domingo Acevedo, has the advantage of throwing down angled pitches, making his fastball more effective. Although mechanics may be an issue with pitchers sharing his frame, Acevedo uses his height advantageously.
He has he managed to maintain a 5:1 strikeout to walk ratio this year. “I always am working on the things that I need to consistently focus on to attack the zone and the team always has a plan in place to make any needed adjustments,” Acevedo said.
“He definitely has some leverage and down angle because he’s so tall.” Thunder manager, Bobby Mitchell said. “It really makes his fastball effective because it’s not flat.”
Knowing the history of basketball and the Yankees when asked if, at 6’7″ he can dunk a basketball, Acevedo smiled and said, “No…I only play baseball…that’s my only sport. I never play basketball.”
Acevedo also mentioned that Yankees coach, Tim Norton, who also has a big frame has helped him in Tampa, but “whether I’m here with Rosey or in Tampa with Norty, they are always working with me because the team has a plan in place,” he said. “He always pushes me to compete and repeat the good stuff.”
Gary Denbo, Vice President of Player Development for the Yankees saw his Double-A debut in Trenton and was very impressed with his performance.
Acevedo was throwing around 98 miles per hour in his first time on the Trenton mound. “On a consistent basis, he probably throws around a 94 or 95,” Mitchell said. “I thought it was a really impressive outing and he is just going to get better. He has a big arm and he didn’t even start playing baseball until he was 13. He pitched outstanding and the debut just went really well.”
Although Acevedo’s first Double-A start went really well, Mitchell is still concerned that his struggles from last season may return.
“Previously to this outing,” the manager said. “I heard that he sometimes struggles with his command and consistency, so we are going to have to see if he still needs to fix that, because I didn’t see that at his outing.”
However, Domingo Acevedo has the drive and determination to succeed at the Double-A level, and is willing to work hard to improve his skill level and advance to Triple-A. It would be a nice coup for the Yankees if Acevedo continues his success as he was signed as a 19-year-old out of the Dominican Republic for just $7500.
“Whether I am here at Double-A or in Tampa, the team always has a plan and helps me get better,” Acevedo said. ” Obviously through repetition you get more comfortable with stuff and thanks to the coaches who have been working with me, I’ve been able to get better.”