Top-prospect Severino impresses in Trenton

The right-hander struck out seven in four innings on Thursday
07/24/2014 9:44 PM ET
By Matt Kardos / Special to

Severino appeared in this year's All-Star Futures Game, featuring the best prospects in baseball.(AP)
TRENTON -- Prior to the start of the season, few people in baseball, even in the Yankees organization, were very familiar with the name Luis Severino. Four months and three levels of the minor leagues later, Severino is viewed by most as the crown jewel of the Bombers' farm system. The 20-year old hurler toed the rubber at Arm & Hammer Park in Trenton on Thursday night for the first time since being promoted to Trenton one week ago.

Severino electrified the crowd with four strong innings of work against the Binghamton Mets, who he faced in his Double-A debut five days ago on July 19. The Dominican native allowed six hits and two earned runs while striking out seven batters. Severino threw 79 pitches on the night; 50 of them for strikes with 13 of them generating swing-and-misses.

One NL Central scout in attendance on Thursday clocked Severino's fastball as high as 99 MPH in the second inning and raved about his ability to throw all of his pitches for strikes in a given count. Many pitchers at this stage of development rely solely on their fastball but Severino also boasts a sharp slider and a devastating change-up in his advanced repertoire.

"For a young man, I think he has a lot of things that play to the major-league level," said Trenton manager Tony Franklin. "His fastball plays because it is 96-98 and he has pretty good control of all his pitches."

Franklin added, "I like the way that he goes about his business; he is very quiet, very unassuming. He is not totally nondescript but you know who he is and where he is and what he wants to accomplish and that bodes well for his development."

Severino is in the midst of a dominant campaign that has already seen him master two levels of the minor leagues in just his third professional season. Severino began the year in Low-A Charleston where he went 3-2 with a 2.79 ERA with 70 strikeouts in 67 innings over 14 starts.

The Yankees opted to promote Severino to High-A Tampa of the Florida State League on June 20, and he went 1-1 with a 1.79 ERA in just four starts before punching his ticket to Double-A. After the aggressive promotion, Severino has now made two starts for the Thunder and he has gone 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA with 13 strikeouts in nine innings of work.

"I had heard a lot about him," said Franklin. "I had never seen him pitch before and I've been impressed. I think it is just a matter of consistency that is going to allow him to play in the big leagues."

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