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SJU Product Jimmy Yacabonis Feeling Good In O's System

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Jimmy Yacabonis enjoyed a lot of success in the bullpen at St. Joseph's University. In fact, he still holds the single-season save record for the Hawks (10 in 2013).

That success led the Baltimore Orioles to select Yacabonis in the 13th round of the 2013 draft.

This season, the 24-year-old right-hander is in the bullpen of the Frederick Keys, the High-A minor league affiliate of the Orioles, and he likes the way he is throwing the baseball.

"My command this year has been the best it's been in a while," Yacabonis tells KYW Newsradio. "Stats might not now reflect that, but I'm having a really good year so far. I've been throwing the ball well every outing. Can't complain."

Listen to the entire interview with former SJU Hawk Jimmy Yacabonis:


Yacabonis has an ERA of 6.57, but that number is really skewed by two games. Eight of the nine runs he's allowed this season came in those two games (4/16 vs. Lynchburg and 4/30 vs. Winston-Salem). In 12 1/3 innings overall this season, he has allowed 14 hits and just four walks, while striking out a dozen.

He says right now his fastball is his best pitch.

"Been getting a lot of sink, a lot of movement on my fastball," Yacabonis says. "Been able to locate it pretty well, away to lefties or in to lefties, both sides of the plate. That's probably my best pitch. Then I've really started to develop a change-up, too."

He is now in his fourth season in pro baseball, but Yacabonis says he still does his best to stay in touch with everyone on Hawk Hill.

"Me and my buddy, (former St. Joe's catcher) Brian O'Keefe (now in the St. Louis organization)," Yacabonis says, "we lived together during the off-season. We headed back there a couple of times during the off-season and saw a couple scrimmages, saw (head coach) Fritz (Hamburg), saw the guys, so it was good. It was good to see everybody."

Frederick wraps up a series in Wilmington on Wednesday night.

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