The Gulf Coast League Yankees2 had a really strong season in 2014, finishing the year first in the…
Acevedo Has A Special Arm
Throwing fastballs consistently in the upper 90s, sometimes even going in to the triple digits, is a rarity in the minor leagues. It is without a doubt the best pitch in Acevedo's game this season. For this young pitcher, one who stands 6-foot-7 and weighs 245 pounds, focusing on each pitch and keeping himself from overthrowing is the best way to improve his fastball.
"This game is more mental than mechanics for me," Acevedo said through the help of a translator. "If I have the right mindset, everything else will come."
With such a raw ability to throw, Acevedo needs some fine-tuning in his development. Pitching coach Tim Norton has been working with him to keep him from overthrowing the ball.
"In the limited time I have had him, we're just trying to keep him on line and stop him from trying to throw it through the wall all the time," Norton said, "kind of back down that octane once and a while."
Still relatively new to the minor leagues, Acevedo, who pitched in the Dominican Summer League last year in his debut season, has seen the difference between the hitters in Extended Spring Training than what he has experienced in the past.
Knowing every opponent he faces has the skill and ability to be in the league, Acevedo is focused on improving himself to meet the challenge.
"I am working on early contact in less than three pitches, throwing a strike early in the count, and being strong but in control," Acevedo said. "Everyone is here because they have the ability to be here. The hitters, they do not just swing at anything. They are looking for a good pitch to hit. Their discipline is a lot better here."
Among all Acevedo's pitches, the curveball needs the most work so far. While his fastball and changeup are already plus pitches, his curveball remains a developmental mantra.
"He shows signs of it but not on a daily basis," Norton said. "It's the command, spin, just feeling it out for exactly what he wants to do with it."
Consistency is Norton's main goal for the Acevedo' curveball this year. Once it is developed to the point of throwing for strikes, it will give the hitters something else to look out for other than Acevedo's high-octane fastball.
Both manager and coach agree that Acevedo has a good head on his shoulders alongside a gift that sets him apart from most other pitchers at his level. With maturity and experience, there is little doubt for anything but success in the future.
"He's an upper 90s fastball, you know it is not every day you see guys coming in with," Garza reiterated. "He has been in triple digits, which is something I personally have not seen very frequently in the minor leagues especially. He has a very special arm."
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