Luis Severino is a 21-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.
Severino threw his first bullpen session in Spring Training this past weekend, and all the coaches and scouts came out to watch. He has 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.
The limitation on Severino is clearly the pitch count. He works within a pitch limit in his outings, not going very far into games. This spring, the Yankees will be looking to see how long he can work and how durable his arm is. So, while we have stats on his pitch velocity and strikeout ratios, we do not yet know how his arm strength holds up deep into games.
Most reports have Severino as a top prospect for the Yankees, likely seeing some major league action sometime in the middle of the upcoming season. With the Yankees’ starting rotation being what it is, he may see an opportunity for a spot-start. 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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