Jan
08

Prospect Profile: Luis Severino

By
Not many photos of Mr. Severino out there. (ABC News 4 Charleston and MiLB.com)

Not many photos of Mr. Severino out there. (ABC News 4 Charleston and MiLB.com)

Luis Severino | RHP

Background
Severino hails from Sabana Del Mar, a small fishing town along the north shore of the Dominican Republic. He was a little older than the typical Latin American prospect when he signed with the Yankees in December 2011, two months before his 18th birthday. Severino received a relatively modest $225k bonus.

Pro Career
The Yankees assigned Severino to the Dominican Summer League to start his pro career in 2012. He threw 64.1 innings across 14 starts that season, posting a 1.68 ERA (3.14 FIP) with 45 strikeouts (6.30 K/9 and 18.3 K%) and 17 walks (2.38 BB/9 and 6.9 BB%).

Severino came stateside last year and was very impressive, making six appearances with the team’s Rookie Level Gulf Coast League affiliate (1.37 ERA and 1.68 FIP) before being bumped up and making four starts with Low-A Charleston (4.08 ERA and 2.24 FIP). All told, Severino posted a 2.45 ERA (1.92 FIP) with 53 strikeouts (10.84 K/9 and 29.6 K%) and only ten walks (2.05 BB/9 and 5.6 BB%) in 44 innings in 2013. After the season, Baseball America ranked him as the 17th best prospect in the GCL.

Scouting Report
Severino is a short-ish right-hander — he’s listed at only 6-foot-0 and 195 lbs. — with really big stuff. He unleashes 92-94 mph fastballs on the regular and will hump it up to 97-98 on his best days, though he is prone to getting radar gun happy and overthrowing. That is something that can improve with experience, at least in theory. Severino is really athletic and his arm action is loose, so the ball jumps out of his hand.

A mid-80s slider was Severino’s top secondary pitch when he signed, but he developed a low-to-mid-80s fading changeup after turning pro and it has since become his top offspeed offering. The slider is inconsistent but still shows promise. Severino throws strikes with his fastball and he generally locates his two offspeed pitches down in the zone, where they’re supposed to go. There is occasionally some arm recoil — not a huge red flag but not ideal either — in his otherwise smooth delivery. Like most teenage pitchers, Severino still needs to learn the finer points of his craft, like holding runners and fielding his position.

Video

That video is from Spring Training last year and is the only video of Severino I can find. Again, there just isn’t many photos or video of the kid out there.

2014 Outlook
After his successful four-start cameo at the end of last season, Severino figures to return to Low-A Charleston to open 2014. He’ll turn 20 late next month and I expect him to remain with the River Dogs all year, even if he completely tears the South Atlantic League apart.

My Take
Severino is one of those cheaper, lower profile Latin American prospects the Yankees have a knack for digging up. I actually like him more than bigger name international signings like Rafael DePaula and Omar Luis because he throws strikes with his fastball, has already figured out a changeup, and has three pitches overall. Severino is just a kid with barely a hundred pro innings to his credit though. He has a lot of work and development ahead of him, but the raw tools are exciting and suggest he will be able to remain a starter long-term.

Categories : Prospect Profiles

27 Comments»

  1. Poconos Adam says:

    ‘Smallish’ at 6’0″? Jeez, our prospects always have warts, but this one seems a bit picky.

    • pat says:

      That’s not Yankee specific, but 6 feet even is generally considered exactly that, on the small side for a starting pitcher.

      • Caballo Sin Nombre says:

        Small for a right-hander. Generally not considered an issue for a lefty.

        • Laz says:

          Because people will overlook practically anything if you are a lefty.

          • Preston says:

            Height is supposedly more of an advantage against same handed hitters. So it’s more important for a RHP who will face a majority of RHB than a LHP who will face fewer left LHB.

            • vicki says:

              i think Size Matters has been generally debunked, though research findings can vary. i’ve gathered that scouts still fetishize height, so it remains an advantage in being drafted in the first place (which skews analysis). and laz makes a good point.

              • Preston says:

                Speaking anecdotally, I think the average MLB pitcher is significantly taller than the average person. So height probably does have some benefit. Although once a guy is actually pitching in a full season league I’ll take his on the field stats over his body stats anyday.

    • Thomas says:

      Average Yankees pitcher height (40 man roster + Matt Thornton) is 6’2.8”. He is only taller than Banuelos, Nuno, and Robertson (all 5’11”). Obviously that is only the Yanks, but he is smallish.

  2. JD says:

    Please describe arm recoil. He looks very raw but also very fluid. Ball seems to explode out of his hand.

  3. PhillyMatt says:

    Who is the “tallish” catcher? Or is the umpire “smallish”?

  4. Preston says:

    “I actually like him more than bigger name international signings like Rafael DePaula and Omar Luis because he throws strikes with his fastball, has already figured out a changeup, and has three pitches overall”

    That sums up my feelings perfectly, can’t wait to see what he does next year.

    • CashmanNinja says:

      I still like DePaula more because his strikeout ability is just too good to pass up, but I agree that Severino is definitely a guy to watch. He’s without a doubt one of the most exciting pitchers in the entire system. The key is developing him so he’ll be able to actually pitch for the parent club. At this point in his career you really can’t ask for more than the tools/potential he currently has. A nice fastball and change-up…my absolute favorite 1-2 combo for a power pitcher.

  5. Bryan says:

    I wonder why he did not sign at age 16.

    • Preston says:

      Probably because scouts weren’t very interested when he was 16. Who knows he might have weighed 150 lbs and thrown 84 mph two years ago. He got 225k, which while a lot of money, doesn’t scream that scouts were all that impressed with him as an 18 yo.

  6. MB923 says:

    I’m sure it will be put up shortly. Maddux, Glavine and Thomas make the HOF. Biggio gets 74.8% of the vote. Just short.

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