Yankees Top Prospect, Luis Severino Makes Triple-A Debut

Luis Severino is a highly touted prospect in the New York Yankees organization. He made his Triple-A debut with the Scranton/Wilkes Barre RailRiders on Sunday afternoon.

The RailRiders took on the Norfolk Tides, Severino pitched 4.1 innings and allowed two earned runs, bringing his Triple-A ERA to 4.16. He has a fastball that sits at about 94-95mph (but at times touched 96), a slider that sits at about 82-83mph, and a changeup that sits at about 85-86mph. His final line was 4.1 IP, 3 BB, 2 ER, 4 H, 3 K on 91 pitches, 57 of those pitches were strikes.

He struck out the first batter of the game on three straight fastballs, which was the tale for much of the game. There was a lot of good in Severino’s outing, but there was some bad.

The bad: He tries to rely on his fastball too much. He has a good changeup, but doesn’t use it like he should. He has a slider, but it struggled to find the zone, a lot. At one point Severino threw three or four straight off-speed pitches, and none of them were in the zone. Toward the end of his outing, even his fastball couldn’t find the zone, the last four fastballs he threw were high. He was telegraphing his slider the entire game – he would drop his elbow right before he threw it, so the batter knew it was coming – it’s definitely his weakest pitch.

The good: Severino has an elite fastball that has a decent amount of cutting action. His changeup is also very good, he’s mainly a fastball/changeup type of pitcher, but can incorporate the slider at times. He’s only 21-years-old, so any issues he has in terms of mechanics or pitch selection can be easily corrected before he gets called up to the Yankees, which will happen at some point.

Overall, the outing was good. It was to be expected of a 21-year-old making his debut at Triple-A. His fastball can hang with the best of them, which was also to be expected. He’ll need a little while in Triple-A, but he’ll get there. His pitch count is usually very good, he got into some trouble during this game, however, was able to hang in there. He’ll need development, Triple-A is very different from lower-level minor league teams, especially as a pitcher. How long it takes to develop, and how quickly he can correct his mistakes is up to him, but the potential is definitely there to be a big-time pitcher for the Yankees.

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