This year Luis Severino exploded onto the prospect scene with a dominant season as he blew through three levels of the minors. Without question, he was the breakout pitcher in the system. In 2015, Domingo Acevedo has the best chance of anyone to be that guy. He’s got the best potential of any pitcher in the system, and the makeup is off the charts. He’s a great, hard-working kid, and he’s massive. One of the best parts about this breakout candidate is that he is still obscure enough that I really struggled to find a legitimate picture of him.
Born: Villa Los Almacigos, Dominican Republic
Signed: 2012-2013 offseason to unknown (likely insignificant) signings bonus
Acevedo was signed in the 2012-2013 offseason, and got right to work in the DSL. In 2013, he threw 41.0 innings with 43 K, 11 BB, and 42 hits. He had a 2.63 ERA. It was here that Yankees coaches got their first look at Acevedo, and he did not disappoint.
In 2014 he earned a trip stateside, where he only managed to throw 15.1 innings due to nagging injuries. He struck out 21 though and had a respectable 4.11 ERA in what amounted to a small sample size. Don’t be fooled though, Domingo spent most of the season at extended Spring Training, where he impressed coaches and built up his arm strength so he can throw more innings next year.
This is the part you want to pay attention to. Acevedo’s stuff is truly rare. He sits upper 90’s with the fastball, and routinely hits triple digits. That’s right, 100 mph. As if that’s not enough to make you drool, he already has a changeup which grades out as plus. He is working on a breaking pitch, and it looks like it’s going to be either a curveball or slider. That will be his main developmental mantra going forward.
Already armed with two plus pitches, Acevedo has another plus. He has excellent control and ability to repeat his mechanics for a player of his size. He’s not at a point yet where he can paint the corners, but with his stuff he doesn’t need to yet. With all of the success the Yankees have had teaching breaking balls, I can see Acevedo being close to a complete pitcher by midseason 2015.
Next year he will start in Charleston, and with his stuff he may have enough early success to push himself up to High-A by the end of the season. He can make himself part of a developing core of top prospects in the Yankees system, including Severino, Sanchez, and Judge.
Acevedo’s ceiling is pretty obvious with the fastball and changeup he possesses. He could be an ace in the MLB. His floor at this point, barring injury, is at least a late inning reliever. His main area of focus going forward is the development of that breaking ball. Most minor leaguers are able to develop some kind of useful breaking ball before they get to the majors, so I don’t see this being an issue. Domingo is a rising star, and by the end of next year you will know his name, and the correct pronunciation (ah-say-VAY-“doe”)