By Jerry Del Priore
The New York Yankees announced today that they have inked righty pitcher Adam Ottavino (“ah-tah-VEE-noh”) to a three-year contract through the 2021 season.
A native of Park Slope, Brooklyn, Ottavino played in the 78th Precinct Youth Council Little League before garnering all-state accolades at the Berkeley Carroll School in his home neighborhood.
Ottavino went on to pitch for Northeastern University, where he recorded a 13-13 mark with a 3.09 ERA. He became the second-highest Major League Baseball draft pick in the history of the baseball program when the St. Louis Cardinals selected him 30th overall on June 6, 2006.
Ottavino posted a 6-4 record with six saves and a 2.43 ERA (77.2IP, 41H, 25R/21ER, 36BB, 112K, 5HR) in 75 relief appearances for the Colorado Rockies in 2018.
His 112 strikeouts out of the bullpen ranked second in the National League and fourth in MLB, and set a new Rockies’ single-season record for strikeouts by a reliever. Among NL relievers, he was fifth with a .158 opponents’ batting average (41-for-260), fifth with a 36.2% strikeout rate (112K/309BF), tied for fifth in appearances and tied for sixth in innings pitched.
The New York City product is 17-20 (three starts) with 17 saves and a 3.68 ERA (413.0IP, 169ER) for his career, that has spanned part of eight seasons and a total of 366 contests. Prior to making his MLB debut, he pitched for Team Italy in the 2009 World Baseball Classic.
The signing of the hard-throwing 33-year-old hurler gives the Bronx Bombers arguably the best pen in all of MLB. He’ll join New York State natives Dellin Betances, who pitched for Grand Street Campus High School in Brooklyn, and Tommy Kahnle (Latham) in the pen. Plus, closer Aroldis Chapman, Zach Britton and Chad Green, among others, to form a potent relief corps.
The six-foot-five-inch Ottavino made headlines this offseason when he said he could strike out Yankee legend Babe Ruth.