The Chicago Cubs bolstered their bullpen on Thursday, signing former New York Yankees prospect Andury Acevedo to a major-league contract for the 2016 season.
A converted position player, Avevedo spent the first four seasons of his professional career with the Pittsburgh Pirates playing shortstop and third base, before signing as a free agent with the Yankees organization in 2012. Acevedo made the full-time transition to the mound shortly after signing with the Yankees and spent the bulk of two seasons with the Short-Season Staten Island Yankees in 2013 and 2014 honing his skills on the mound and improving the command of both his fastball and slider.
Still a work in progress entering the 2015 season, Acevedo pitched at three different minor-league levels, settling at Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre. Acevedo’s quick rise through the ranks of the Yankees farm system began with the Single-A Tampa Yankees, where he pitched to a 1.40 ERA in 13 appearances out of the bullpen, striking out 20 in 19.1 innings while walking just a single batter.
At age 25, Acevedo possesses a fastball which can reach anywhere between 95 and 99 miles per hour, but command became a concern once he reached the upper levels of the minor leagues. In contrast to his fastball, his slider is an easier pitch to command and could be deceptive with his arm slot as he continues to develop his offerings. Acevedo will likely slot behind hard throwers Justin Grimm and Pedro Strop in a middle relief role in the Cubs bullpen if he makes the big league roster and could evoke memories of Carlos Marmol with his velocity and spotty command.