Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Yankees signed right handed starter Luis Severino out of the Dominican Republic at the end of the 2011 season. Despite signing at older age (old for a Dominican signing), he was well regarded by pundits. Severino debut year was so good that even the conservative Yankees pushed him through the season. In a season filled with pitching injuries Severino was one the few bright spots. Severino is the best international pitching signings in years and has the talent to be a top of the rotation arm.

Vital Statistics:

Born: Feb. 20, 1994. B-T: R-R. Ht.: 6-0. Wt.: 195.   Signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2011    

2012 DSL Stats   IP/ERA/WHIP/FIP:        64.1/1.68/0.979/3.14     
2013 GULF/SALL Stats:                            44.0/ 2.45/1.068/1.92                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Background:

Severino was a part of strong 2011 international class that featured Abitial Avelino and Miguel Andujar. Compared to other international signing Severino could be considered a late bloomer as he signed two months before his 18th birthday. At the start of his career he threw 90-93 MPH and his slider was his out pitch. He had a smooth easy delivery and good command.

Despite all these positives and his advanced age the Yankees still decided it be best if he started his career in the DSL. Severino performed very well in the DSL and guaranteed himself a slot in the GCL rotation in 2013

2013 Performance:

Severino began the 2013 season on one of New York’s GCL team. While in the GCL he struck out over 10 batters per game and had a BB/9 of 2.05. This performance helped him place 17th on BA’s top 20 GCL list, despite only pitching 26 innings at that level.

If he had played more innings he certainly would have been placed higher and overall he was one of the best pitchers in the league. After his six dazzling starts in the GCL, Severino was promoted to the Sally league. At 20 years old Severino was one of the youngest starters in the league. While he certainly gave up more hits after his promotion, his peripherals remained solid. He continued to show strike-throwing ability and maintained his impressive k/9 and BB/9 rates (10.7, 2.04).

Scouting Report:

Servino has the stuff and the command to become a frontline starter. Since his signing he has gained  a few MPH on his fastball, and now can reach 98 mph. However, he mostly sits in the 93-95 MPH range. Even more impressive than his pure velocity is that he maintains his velocity throughout his starts. Severino also throws a good changeup and an inconsistent but good slider. Severino locates these three pitches very well.

It can be argued that Severino is the best Yankee pitching prospect, because he has a complete arsenal and has shown good command. Unlike Rafeal DePuala, Bryan Mitchell or some of the other top pitchers in this organization he has shown the ability to control and command his advanced repertoire, and he has done so at a very young age.  


Severino projects as a top of the rotation arm. Some question his size but there is very little data to support the notion that shorter pitchers are less durable. Furthermore it’s not like he is that tiny, he is only an inch or two shorter than guys like Dylan Bundy, and Julio Tehran; and is the same size as Braves righty JR Graham. Severino is the type of player that will make many top prospects lists in the future.

2014 Level:

After the 2013 season many Yankee fans demanded big changes to the Yankees minor league coaching staff. What most of those fans forgot was that the system experienced a significant change the year prior. 2013 was the first year of the Gil Patterson’s tenure.

Patterson came over from the A’s organization where exceled as their organizational pitching coach. Patterson’s presence is worth noting here because it may affect how quickly Severino advances through the system. Patterson may be able to shorten Severino development path, as the Yankees tend to take a conservative approach in promoting their players.  

The conservative approach in this situation would be for him to spend the entire season at Charleston. If he stays the entire year he would still be younger than the average high A pitcher in 2015. If everything goes right he may be able to make the majors in 2016. No matter what happens—barring and injury—Severino will begin the year in Low A. The only real question is how long he has to stay there.


Post a Comment