Yankees Roster Profile: NRI-Luis Severino


By now you know the name. He’s been compared by some to a “poor man’s Pedro Martinez“, while others question whether or not he can develop into a long term starting pitcher at the big league level. Just under the radar a year ago, he came onto the scene and if you follow the New York Yankees at all, you know Luis Severino. Is he the future of the Yankees’ rotation? Will he eventually slot in alongside Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda, and Nathan Eovaldi? Let’ find out…

In terms of pure talent, nobody is questioning that it is there. His blazing fastball has been clocked at 99 mph, and consistently sits in the mid-to-high 90s. His change-up is a solid secondary pitch, and he’s not afraid to use it in any count against any hitter: the confidence needed of a top-of-the-rotation pitcher. However, his third pitch, the slider, continues to be a project, and was ranked at just a 50 by Baseball America (50 being average). Kiley McDaniel on Fangraph’s Top 200 List, had this to say about Severino: “He’s quickly improved and developed starter traits, but on certain days the stuff, command and delivery may all look more like a reliever.” 

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The 21-year old Dominican product, stands at 6’0″, and weighs in at 200 lbs. For what it’s worth, that is a thicker frame than the lanky Martinez had when he burst onto the season two decades ago. He’s got a career 14-9 record with an impressive 2.24 ERA across five different levels of minor league play. Severino’s K/9 ratio is an impressive 9.1, and that topped out at 12.4 in High-A Tampa last season. Control is not a problem for the young fireballer either, notching a 2.2 BB/9 rate.

The Yankees can afford to be patient with Severino, and allow him to further develop and work on his secondary pitches, as the starting rotation, if healthy, is pretty solid top to bottom. If the rotation comes under fire, and gets decimated by injuries, just as it did last season, we may see an early big league debut for the Bombers’ number one prospect. He’ll most likely start the season at Triple-A against advanced hitters, and could possibly be a candidate for a September call-up if he stays healthy and pitches well in 2015.

The future looks extremely bright for the Yankees and their cadre of young starting pitchers. Along with top prospect Severino, Ian Clarkin, Jaron Long, and Bryan Mitchell could provide youthful depth in the coming seasons.

Next: Ten Bold Predictions For The Yankees In 2015

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