Severino Proving He Belongs

TAMPA, FL - Alongside a natural ability to throw an upper 90s fastball, Luis Severino can throw each of his three pitches for strikeouts. Recently promoted to the high-A Tampa Yankees, Severino not only has shown major strides since his time in Charleston but he's proving he belongs at the upper levels.

“I had my doubts early,” Tampa manager Al Pedrique said. “I went from what I saw of him last year in Charleston, but now I have seen him [a few times]. His composure, his maturity when he’s on the mound, and the way he goes about his business on the mound – he definitely he belongs here.”

Severino surrendered three earned runs on five hits in 4 2/3 innings in his high-A debut against the Lakeland Tigers but has since allowed just one earned run on just six in over his next 14 innings, striking out 22 batters along the way.

Quickly becoming a hot prospect for the Yankees, he has always called attention with his live arm but there is a lot more to the pitcher than his fastball. According to Danny Borrell, there are other attributes that make Severino a pitcher to watch out for.

“Probably his best attribute is that he can think through a line-up,” Borrell said. “The physical tools are obvious – everything you want in a pitcher.

“But for him, he can slow the game down, he can slow a running game down. He can control swings. So it is just the little nuances of the game that he is pretty good at.”

As a hard working pitcher, Severino felt that it was time for the promotion to Tampa. He was excited to be called up, and has been working on the changes for the higher skilled hitters.

“A big adjustment for me was throwing inside a lot to hitters now, and moving the ball back to the other side of the plate,” Severino said through the help of a translator, "and just not being predictable with pitches. Also, say it is a three-two count, having the confidence to throw any pitch at any time.”

In Charleston, Severino had a bad inning against Hickory where he surrendered seven runs. Not easily discouraged, he reviewed game tapes with the coaches to see that he had been tipping his pitches off by his glove position. With a quick correction following that game, Severino threw a streak of great innings.

“It was a rough inning, you know. Everybody goes through it sometimes,” Severino said.

He posted a 2.31 ERA the rest of the way for Charleston after that nightmare inning and a 1.84 ERA overall, including his time in Tampa, since that day.

For Borrell, much of the coaching with Severino comes from developing routines and giving him time to mature. It is mainly about the small moments, like tipping your glove, that make the difference for players with as much natural athleticism as Severino.

“The stuff stands out, but he has grown up a lot, at least in terms of maturity from last year to this year," said Borrell, who coached Severino at the tail end of the 2013 season too. "I can tell a big difference in him off the field as well.

“Just being able to handle the day in and day out situations of playing professional ball. I’m sure anyone else would be the same way as a 19 or 20 year old. He’s handling it very well.”

Out of all three pitches, the slider gives Severino the least consistency and is the one that needs a touch of nuance. He spends his time working on getting a consistent velocity and angle on his slider.

“Nothing is up with his slider, it’s just not as consistent as the other two,” Borrell said. “It’s still a big league pitch. It’s just a matter of him getting a little bit more consistent with it in terms of shape.”

There is no plan yet to limit Severino’s innings this season. He will pitch as long as he feels healthy and the coaching staff stays free of concern. Until then, one thing fans and hitters can count on is a pitcher that is fun to watch. It wouldn’t be a surprise to either Borrell or Pedrique to see him advance again this season.

“It comes out of his hand so easy that the hitters won’t realize until the ball is right on top of the plate," Pedrique said. "You see guys taking swings at his fastball, they don’t look comfortable at all. It’s like they don’t have time to get ready to react.

“I think he needs to have better command with his slider. His changeup, I like it. He throws it with good speed and delivery like what he does with his fastball. So for the hitters that’s kind of deceptive.

"I think once he is consistent throwing the second pitch, which is his slider, for the strike more often that he will be hard to hit. He will get hit, but he will be successful. He’s the type of kid with the tools to pitch in the big leagues as a starter.”

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\r\n \r\n\r\n“I had my doubts early,” Tampa manager Al Pedrique said. “I went from what I saw of him last year in Charleston, but now I have seen him [a few times]. His composure, his maturity when he’s on the mound, and the way he goes about his business on the mound – he definitely he belongs here.”
\r\n
\r\nSeverino surrendered three earned runs on five hits in 4 2/3 innings in his high-A debut against the Lakeland Tigers but has since allowed just one earned run on just six in over his next 14 innings, striking out 22 batters along the way.
\r\n
\r\nQuickly becoming a hot prospect for the Yankees, he has always called attention with his live arm but there is a lot more to the pitcher than his fastball. According to Danny Borrell, there are other attributes that make Severino a pitcher to watch out for.
\r\n
\r\n“Probably his best attribute is that he can think through a line-up,” Borrell said. “The physical tools are obvious – everything you want in a pitcher.
\r\n
\r\n“But for him, he can slow the game down, he can slow a running game down. He can control swings. So it is just the little nuances of the game that he is pretty good at.”
\r\n
\r\nAs a hard working pitcher, Severino felt that it was time for the promotion to Tampa. He was excited to be called up, and has been working on the changes for the higher skilled hitters.
\r\n
\r\n“A big adjustment for me was throwing inside a lot to hitters now, and moving the ball back to the other side of the plate,” Severino said through the help of a translator, \"and just not being predictable with pitches. Also, say it is a three-two count, having the confidence to throw any pitch at any time.”
\r\n
\r\nIn Charleston, Severino had a bad inning against Hickory where he surrendered seven runs. Not easily discouraged, he reviewed game tapes with the coaches to see that he had been tipping his pitches off by his glove position. With a quick correction following that game, Severino threw a streak of great innings.
\r\n
\r\n“It was a rough inning, you know. Everybody goes through it sometimes,” Severino said.
\r\n
\r\nHe posted a 2.31 ERA the rest of the way for Charleston after that nightmare inning and a 1.84 ERA overall, including his time in Tampa, since that day.
\r\n
\r\nFor Borrell, much of the coaching with Severino comes from developing routines and giving him time to mature. It is mainly about the small moments, like tipping your glove, that make the difference for players with as much natural athleticism as Severino.
\r\n
\r\n“The stuff stands out, but he has grown up a lot, at least in terms of maturity from last year to this year,\" said Borrell, who coached Severino at the tail end of the 2013 season too. \"I can tell a big difference in him off the field as well.
\r\n
\r\n“Just being able to handle the day in and day out situations of playing professional ball. I’m sure anyone else would be the same way as a 19 or 20 year old. He’s handling it very well.”
\r\n
\r\nOut of all three pitches, the slider gives Severino the least consistency and is the one that needs a touch of nuance. He spends his time working on getting a consistent velocity and angle on his slider.
\r\n
\r\n“Nothing is up with his slider, it’s just not as consistent as the other two,” Borrell said. “It’s still a big league pitch. It’s just a matter of him getting a little bit more consistent with it in terms of shape.”
\r\n
\r\nThere is no plan yet to limit Severino’s innings this season. He will pitch as long as he feels healthy and the coaching staff stays free of concern. Until then, one thing fans and hitters can count on is a pitcher that is fun to watch. It wouldn’t be a surprise to either Borrell or Pedrique to see him advance again this season.
\r\n
\r\n“It comes out of his hand so easy that the hitters won’t realize until the ball is right on top of the plate,\" Pedrique said. \"You see guys taking swings at his fastball, they don’t look comfortable at all. It’s like they don’t have time to get ready to react.
\r\n
\r\n“I think he needs to have better command with his slider. His changeup, I like it. He throws it with good speed and delivery like what he does with his fastball. So for the hitters that’s kind of deceptive.
\r\n
\r\n\"I think once he is consistent throwing the second pitch, which is his slider, for the strike more often that he will be hard to hit. He will get hit, but he will be successful. He’s the type of kid with the tools to pitch in the big leagues as a starter.”
\r\n
\r\n

\r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n\r\n
\r\n

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\r\n

\r\n

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