Name: Domingo Acevedo
DOB: March 6, 1994
Repertoire. Fastball, Changeup, Slider.
Fastball. Acevedo's fastball is special, plain and simple. He not only comfortably sits 95-97 mph with his four-seam fastball but he now routinely tops out at 100 mph or more in most starts. It's not just the high-end velocity that makes his fastball so unique either, he has some real late-life explosion to his heater and that makes it very unfair for opposing batters. Throw in his exceptional downhill plane from a towering 6-foot-7 frame and his ability to consistently throw his fastball for strikes and his fastball is really one of a kind. He has just average command of the fastball right now though and he's more of a control pitcher than a command guy but he can throw strikes whenever he wants.
Other Pitches. Acevedo's plus changeup allows his plus fastball play to a plus-plus level. His changeup shows solid fade and depth, has some late life to it too, and just like his fastball he can throw his changeup for strikes anytime. A true strikeout pitch, he'll throw to both right-handers and lefties in any count. His slider is still very much his third pitch but, once very inconsistent with its break, it's slowly becoming a very solid pitch for him. It's still a little bit on the slower end velocity-wise, sitting more in the low to mid-80s, but he and the Yankees have been working tirelessly to get that a bit firmer, more in the mid-to-high-80s range. He'll snap off some real power sliders at times and it's certainly better than it has been in previous years but it's not quite the above average or better pitch many scouts and team officials believe it can be someday. Grading out as average right now, there's some ceiling left to his breaking ball.
Pitching. While not a true command pitcher yet [he may not ever get there given his size], Acevedo is very unique given his monstrous frame and innate feel for pounding the strike zone with consistent control. In fact, despite his taller frame he has a real knack for staying relatively short in his delivery and that not only allows him to throw strikes better than most bigger pitchers but it also allows him to be somewhat solid holding runners close in the running game too, as solid as somebody of his size really can be. He wasn't always that way, however, and it's a testament to his coachable nature and high makeup. His approach is all business in the mound; he goes right after batters, he doesn't shy away from contact [in fact he's always attempting early count contact], and he has both the stuff and killer instinct to put away batters when he does get ahead in counts. As big and strong as he is too he has real endurance and can therefore eat a lot of innings.
Projection. Most pitchers with Acevedo's unique size and power are almost always projected best as long-term relievers. However, possessing one of the better changeups at his level as well as innate strike-throwing ability with all of his pitches, not to mention a high level of pitch efficiency and tangible endurance, Acevedo best projects long-term as a big league starting pitcher someday, one who has the natural stuff and control to slide into the front-half of a Major League rotation. Further improving his slider and the consistency of it will be needed to fulfill his considerable ceiling but should he be able to do that in the coming years he has legitimate 'ace' potential. He's a bit of a hybrid, showing Dellin Betances-like size, the pitch-ability of Michael Pineda, and the natural strike-throwing ability of Luis Severino, while possessing similar power to all three. He's certainly unique and so is his ceiling. And even if his breaking ball doesn't make the desired strides, he still has the floor of a solid middle of the rotation guy given the current state of his stuff and control.
ETA. 2018. A minor injury at the beginning of last season pumped the breaks on what could have been the beginning of his somewhat quick ascension towards the big leagues. He still managed to have a great year, winning New York Penn League Pitcher of the Year honors, but now it's time for him to begin moving quicker. He seems most likely destined to break camp in the long-season leagues in low-A Charleston and a quick start there could get him to high-A Tampa pretty soon. If that consistent breaking ball comes sooner rather than later though all bets are off as he could really then sky-rocket his way up and seeing some Double-A action later in the year is not out of the question if things break right for him. A Luis Severino-like, three-level track in his first taste of the long-season leagues isn't beyond the realm of possibility.