For those that do not follow minor league baseball, Severino is a 20-year old right-handed pitcher who is coming up through the Yankees’ farm system. He started last year with the Charleston RiverDogs, achieving a 2.79 ERA and 9.3 K/9 over 14 starts. He moved on to the Tampa Yankees, where he continued to impress. Four starts, a 1.31 ERA, 28 strikeouts over 20+ innings, and he was sent up to the Double-A Trenton Thunder. He finished the season there, continuing his remarkable productivity, to the tune of a 2.52 ERA and 29 strikeouts in 25 innings over 6 starts.
The limitation on Severino is clearly the pitch count. He works within a pitch limit in his outings, not going very far into games. The concern appears to be that with his young age and inexperience, they want to be careful in how they build up his arm strength. So, while we have stats on his pitch velocity and strikeout ratios, we do not yet know what he will be like deep in games, especially the third time through the lineup and beyond.
The positives include three strong pitches that he can deliver. His best pitch is his fastball, which he can throw in the mid-90’s. He can mix in an off-speed pitch in the mid-80’s with decent control. Finally, he has a good slider in the mid-80’s, but the scouting reports say that he has work to do to control it. Severino should be able to dominate hitters with that mix of pitches, and the strikeout ratios speak for themselves.
Most reports have Severino as a top prospect for the Yankees, likely seeing some major league action in 2015. With the Yankees’ starting rotation being what it is, he may see an opportunity for a spot-start later in the season. Likely, he will be a September call-up and get some time there. Either way, he will be a key player in the Yankees’ plans for late 2015 and going into 2016.
--Ike Dimitriadis, BYB Senior Staff Writer
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