Yankees’ Editorial: Is Luis Severino Ready?


In Sunday’s game Luis Severino, the New York Yankees‘ top prospect, had his second appearance of the Spring. He did not disappoint by going 1.1 innings with three swinging strikeouts. He did walk a batter but in that at-bat he was attacking and challenging the batter, which is nice to see from a young pitcher. Severino also did give up two hits and an unearned run.

He has certainly been a bright spot for the Yankees in the Spring and is living up to the hype around his potential. Severino has thrown 2.2 innings and has 5 strikeouts. His fastball hit 97 MPH in his last start and it appeared his changeup was on a string that he could pull on whenever he pleased. As I previously mentioned, his three strikeouts were swing-and-misses which shows how electric his stuff is.

Brendan Kuty of NJ.com discussed Joe Girardi‘s interview regarding Severino’s performance. Kuty quoted:

"“He challenges people,” the manager. “He’s not overwhelmed by the situation. I know he walked a guy today, but he kept throwing strike after strike, and put a tough at-bat on him. I really liked his approach. I mean, obviously you can see the stuff is there. It’s easy to get excited about that. But the approach is really good too.”"

This is high praise from a manager for a young player. Girardi did not go into detail about his stuff, which is what everyone talks about, but instead commented on his demeanor. A pitcher can develop his stuff over time and learn how to use it, but a pitcher’s mentality on the mound is innate.

Severino goes out and attacks batters; he believes in his stuff and tells the batter ‘this is it, hit it if you can’. Beyond that, he doesn’t change his game plan when things aren’t going his way. He gave up a single and a double on Sunday but following these hits he continued with the same attacking game plan.

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However, Severino will most likely start the season back in Double-A Trenton. He has only six starts there and there is no rush for him to reach the majors. The front office of the organization rather take his time and continue to develop. He is only twenty-one and he will get his chance at the show.

I have concerns that he relies to heavily on his stuff and not so much on his location. It can be that he was all geared up from getting his shot to be on the mound with the major league club but he was all over the zone.

I am afraid that Severino’s strength may be his weakness. He might still have the little league mentality of trying to throw his fastball by people instead of locating it. These are big league hitters and they can hit a fastball, especially one that is misplaced.

Also, he tends to get out of his mechanics and fails to repeat the same delivery. In doing so, he stands up at the end of his delivery rather then staying low and following through with his delivery. This means two things: one, he will not be accurate with his pitch because his release point is inconsistent and two, he is subjecting himself to a potential injury by torquing his muscles instead of making it a natural follow through.

This all being said, I believe he will fix these minor problems and learn to be a dominant pitcher because of his intangibles. I reiterate that he is only twenty-one and his development is not being rushed. He will be a major part of the future, young core of the Yankees.

Next: Pineda Sharp In Debut

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