Luis Severino Scouting Report (2014)
2013 was a terrible year for the Yankees minor league system. Injuries and under performance led to a steep drop in production amongst top prospects, causing prospect hounds to look elsewhere for dynasty sleepers and keepers. Along the way, 20-year old Dominican Luis Severino was lost in the shuffle. After a promotion to High-A, it’s time to pay attention. Is the right-hander New York’s best pitching prospect?
Listed at 6-foot-0, 195 pounds, Severino presents as lean and athletic on the mound. A lack of muscle development through the shoulders and a loose, fluid delivery points to a pitcher with room to fill out and add strength without sacrificing agility. In terms of present size-versus-arm strength, Luis Severino is the most explosive South Atlantic League pitcher scouted since Julio Teheran a few years ago.
Severino’s fastball explodes on hitters. His arm speed is electric, allowing the right-hander to play catch at 95 MPH. Throughout the game, he sat 92-95 MPH, touching 97 when in need of a strikeout. Present control of the fastball was a strength and Severino was able to throw strikes to both sides of the plate. Against Rome Braves hitters, Severino attacked with the fastball and forced lesser batters to make adjustments. They didn’t. If not for a brief lapse where Luis Severino threw too many off-speed pitches, he was close to unhittable.
Even more impressive is the fact Severino fails to fully incorporate his lower half when delivering a pitch. As a short strider who lands on a stiff front leg, the right-hander generates velocity from his “whippy” arm action. Until Admittedly, this causes additional stress on the arm and screams reliever, but Luis Severino has agility and a strong feel for pitching. The mechanics will improve.
Throughout the game, Severino struggled to throw an 83-84 MPH slider for strikes. Instead of mirroring his fastball arm action, the right-hander utilized more of a sling shot delivery across his body, resulting in Frisbee movement. As he tired, the pitch stabilized and flashed better depth and cut across the plate. A few were unhittable, but the pitch sped up Rome Braves bats, resulting in hard contact more often than not.
Luis Severino also mixed in an 82 MPH change-up with late drop. Given his lack of polish, he pulled the string on a change-up early in the game, surprising scouts in attendance. And while Severino flashing feel for the pitch was enough to be excited about the offering, the right-hander was able to achieve the same success with the pitch multiple times.
Given how unrefined Severino’s mechanics are, his combination of velocity and control is impressive. This leaves the right-hander with a ceiling of a number two starter in the running for best pitching prospect scouted this season. Still in the early stages of development, Luis Severino is improving quickly and would project as a first round pick if subject to the 2015 Rule 4 Draft as a junior eligible college pitcher. When gauging the achievements of international talent, it’s important to compare them to American counterparts for perspective.
Projected Role Number 2 Starter On First Division Team Fastball 60 70 Slider 35 50 Changeup 45 65 Control 45 60 Command 35 50
Owing Luis Severino
Severino should be owned, but probably isn’t in keeper and dynasty leagues. Combine quality stuff with pinstripes and the right-hander will be a helium guy this winter. Expect top-100 rankings and placement in the Yankees top-3. He’s a definite stash-and-hold, but buying Severino on the cheap to flip in a few months is also a strong play with since minor league baseball is chock full of pitching prospects at the moment and a strong crop of arms entering baseball through the draft. One thing is for sure. Act fast with Luis Severino or it will be too late.
23 Jun 2014 / Mike Newman / 2