Friday, February 27, 2009

Up and Comer: Alfredo Aceves

Alfredo had a remarkably successful stint in the majors last year. Moving from the Blue Jays to the Mexican league to the Yankees, Aceves quickly climbed the ranks of the organization when given the chance by New York.

In six games with four starts he had an ERA of 2.40 in the majors last year and looking impressive in his end of the year major league appearances with a WHIP of 1.17. He has four serviceable pitches including a fastball, curve, slider and a very good changeup, but the scouting reports say that he lacks the go to pitch to get strikeouts when needed.

The question is how will he be used this year. He strikes me as a solid 5th man in the rotation, a guy who can give you quality starts but won’t dominate hitters like someone higher up in the rotation. The Yankees have few spots available on the roster for young pitchers and right now he would fit in as a long reliever – available to throw multiple innings if necessary and ready to make a spot start if someone needs to miss their day in the rotation with a minor injury. Baseball prospectus compares him to Ramiro Mendoza, which seems like a fair comparison to me, but I think Aceves might actually have a little more starter potential than Mendoza. Baseball America calls him a  more talented version of Ian Kennedy, which I think is a little more accurate description. Never going to be an ace, but has potential as a solid back end of the rotation guy.

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