Rudy C. Jones

Domingo Acevedo had been making progress all season long and it's culminated recently in his first two Double-A starts.

TRENTON, NJ -- His numbers down in high-A Tampa earlier this season might not had been proof positive of it but right-hander Domingo Acevedo had been making progress in his entire game in the Florida State League. That progress has been exemplified too in his first two Double-A starts, including Wednesday night's gem against Reading.

A sure-fire Top Ten prospect entering the 2017 season, Acevedo just stepped to the Double A mound this past 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, he was 0-4 with a 4.57 ERA but he is starting off strong with the Trenton Thunder.

“I just came here to compete and pitch," Acevedo said prior to Wednesday's game through the help of a translator.  "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 2.71 after Wednesday night's 7.1 inning, three-hit shutout, but his 11-11 record in the minors is not exactly reflective of his expected achievements as a starting pitcher, nor does it showcase all of the work he has been doing behind the scenes to iron out his entire game, and it's the kind of work Acevedo professes to know that he needs to be successful at the Double A level.

“I am always trying to keep the runners closer to the bases," said the 6-foot-7 behemoth. "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.

“I feel good getting that “W", he explained how he feels a weight being lifted off his shoulders after getting his first win this year.  "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 even more effective. Although mechanics may be an issue with pitchers sharing his frame, Acevedo uses his height advantageously and it's a big reason why he has posted better than a five to one strikeout to walk ratio this season.

“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.”

“He definitely has some leverage and down angle because he’s so tall,” Thunder manager Bobby Mitchell stated. “It really makes his fastball effective because it’s not flat.”

Acevedo also mentioned that Tampa Yankees pitching coach Tim Norton, who also has a big frame, helped him in Tampa a great deal.

"Whether I’m here with Rosey [Jose Rosado] or in Tampa with Norty [Tim Norton], 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.”

Acevedo was throwing around 98 miles per hour in his Double-A debut, a debut that saw him limit rival Portland to just four hits in 6.1 shutout innings this past Friday.

“On a consistent basis, he probably throws around a 94 or 95,” Mitchell said after his debut.  “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.

“Previously to [his Double-A debut], 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."

Mitchell actually saw more of the same in Acevedo's second Double-A start on Wednesday night too as the flame-thrower once again dominated, matching a season-high by striking out nine batters and issuing no walks, all while keeping his Double-A ERA at 0.00.

"This was was the best game I had as a pro," Acevedo said  "Yes it is, I feel good, better and keep working. Since I have my routine [now] I work every day and [hopefully] keeping it up.  I keep focus, command my fastball and that’s my first pitch, so though I had my slider and changeup working also, that was important."

Mitchell in particular was impressed by the amount of "nasty changeups" Acevedo threw on Wednesday.  As for Acevedo himself, he seems to have 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 too for the Yankees if Acevedo continues his success as he was signed as a 19-year-old out of the Dominican Republic for just $7,500.

"Whether I am here at Double A or in Tampa, the team always has a plan and helps me get better,” Acevedo claimed. " 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.”

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