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 started appeared in just 16 games in 2018 due to a variety of injuries including a blister issue, and a pulled bicep. In 14 games, 10 starts, for the Trenton Thunder he was 3-3 with a 2.92 ERA and 52 strikeouts in 64 2/3 innings of work. He also appeared in two rehab games with the Staten Island Yankees where he allowed two runs in 4 2/3 innings.
The highlight of his season came on July 22, when the Yankees called up the young right-hander to the big leagues for a day. Only for him to be optioned to the minors after the game and place him on the disabled list.
At 6-foot-7 and 250 pounds, the first thing that stands out about Acevedo is his massive size, and that only gets reinforced in the way he lights up the radar gun. The 23-year-old is a three-pitch pitcher with an electric fastball that has touched 103 mph, but consistently attacked hitters at 94-98 mph last season. He also possesses an above-average changeup that sits between 87-88 mph, as well as a developing slider that he throws at 85-87 mph.
The raw talent was never in question for Acevedo as he began his professional career. However, there were questions regarding his ability to command his pitches – particularly his fastball. Acevedo answered all those questions the past two seasons as his strikeout numbers skyrocketed and his walks plummeted. His persistent back injuries may be a cause for concern, but his arm never suffered any setbacks, and with the ability to throw three effective pitches, he appears to be on track to continue his baseball journey as a starting pitcher.
Acevedo is looking to return to the mound healthy and happy for the 2019 season where he will likely find himself getting his first extended taste of Triple-A with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. He will most likely make his major league debut at some point, the only question there is if it would come as a spot starter or as a member of a dominant bullpen.