Domingo Acevedo was signed by the New York Yankees as an international free agent in November 2012 out of Villa Los Almacigos, Dominican Republic, as an 18-year-old, with a signing bonus of $7,500. After being ranked fourth entering last season, the 6-foot-7, 250-pound right-handed pitcher enters the 2018 season with the same #4 ranking in the Yankees organization according to Pinstriped Prospects.
Acevedo was assigned to the Dominican Summer League. Over 11 games (10 starts) Acevedo went 1-2 with a 2.62 ERA over 41 innings. He showed his dominance early as he fanned 43 over that stretch while surrendering only 42 hits.
Acevedo opened his second professional season in the Gulf Coast League. With the Yankees second squad, Acevedo made five starts and finished 0-1 with a 4.11 ERA. Over 15 1/3 innings, the righty fanned 21.
Acevedo made it stateside and opened the year with the Low-A Charleston RiverDogs of the South Atlantic League. But after only one start where he did not make it out of the second inning, Acevedo landed on the disabled list with blister problems. The issue was caused by his slider grip, but he eventually got it corrected.
Coming off of the DL, Acevedo was assigned to the Staten Island Yankees of the New York-Penn League for the remainder of the season. In Staten Island, Acevedo was back to his dominant form, posting a 3-0 record over 11 starts while pitching to the sweet tune of a 1.69 ERA. In 48 innings, he struck out 53 while only giving up 37 hits and 15 walks.
Acevedo was sent back to Charleston to open the 2016 campaign. He picked up where he left off the previous season and completely dominated over his first eight games. In 42 2/3 innings, Acevedo was masterful, giving up only 34 hits and seven walks while striking out 48 (10.1 K/9IP) with a 1.90 ERA and 0.961 WHIP.
He worked through a hamstring pull over that time, but it did not stop him from earning another call-up, this time to the High-A Tampa Yankees on June 14. In 10 starts in the Florida State League, Acevedo finished 2-3 with a 3.22 ERA over 50 1/3 innings. His improved control was on display at this time, striking out 54 while walking only 15, but his WHIP did rise to 1.272.
In August, Acevedo did spend two separate stints on the DL with a back injury.
Acevedo had a breakout campaign last year. The right-hander threw a career-high 133 innings (previous high was 93) and finished the season with a 6-6 record to the tune of a 3.25 ERA in 23 starts between Tampa, Trenton, and Scranton. His dominance caught people’s attention over that time as he fanned 142 while walking only 34. Acevedo also had a five-inning pitch max restriction placed on him over the second half of the season.
After posting a 4.57 ERA in Tampa in his first seven starts of the season, Acevedo went to Trenton where in 14 games he finished with a 2.38 ERA, and 82 strikeouts in 79 1/3 innings pitched, a 1.03 WHIP, and a 5-1 record. He got two starts in Triple-A as well where he threw 12 1/3 innings combined and gave up six runs and struck out eight.
Acevedo also appeared in the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game in Miami on July 9 but did not participate in the Arizona Fall League.
Acevedo has garnered comparisons to the Yankees’ current closer, Aroldis Chapman, for both his size and power-arm, however, there have been no indications from the organization that Acevedo would be used in a relief role. Therefore, I expect Acevedo to open the season in Scranton with the RailRiders and be one of the first call-ups when the big-league club is in need of reinforcements in the starting rotation.