Friday, September 12, 2008

Alfredo Aceves

Over at Patton & Company, NSH wants to know:
While looking at possible middle reliever plays for ERA for last weeks, came across Aceves as starter. any info on him?
Based on the early returns, the scouting reports are glowing. It has been reported that Aceves throws 94 MPH and also has solid command of a curveball, change-up, and what his Double-A catcher called "a little cutter". With the Yankees rolling Sidney Ponson (sorry, Sid) and Carl Pavano out there every fifth day, there's a good chance that Aceves may get a look at a rotation spot in 2009, especially if Ian Kennedy and Phil Hughes still aren't up to the task.

I'd like to see more of Aceves before I made a big FAAB bid on him. But he reminds me of Joakim Soria, another pitcher who was dissed by many (including me) after his initial call-up in 2007.

This is what I had to say about Soria back in April 2007:

There's nothing wrong with taking a $20 flyer on Soria, but I wasn't convinced even before tonight's terrible outing that Soria was necessarily going to be a long term solution in KC. There's a good chance that in Dotel's absence you're looking at a committee and not one guy. Buddy Bell has certainly made proclamations before about his team that have fallen by the wayside in short order.
There's certainly nothing inaccurate about what I wrote. I was trying primarily to caution against being too optimistic about a pitcher who had only thrown 11 2/3 IP in A-Ball in 2006 and was a Rule V pick.

What I was missing, though, was the fact that Soria put up a sterling record in the Mexican League. Granted, you have to take performances from foreign leagues with a grain of salt; ask anyone who thought Kaz Matsui was going to be a superstar here in the States. But you also have to look at the positives, and in the case of Soria I missed the boat.

Aceves might be a similar type of player. For a 25-year-old, he shows a degree of confidence that shows he has experience, even if said experience is against a weaker pool of hitters. His skill set might get exposed to some degree. But, then again, it might not.

As far as this year goes, Aceves is certainly worth a moderate FAAB risk. He'll get good run support for the Yankees, and seems like the kind of pitcher who could run the table in September, as hitters adjust not only to his stuff but to his approach.

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