Luis Severino Will Star In the 2017 Postseason for Yankees

BY Fansided and Cory Claus/FanSided via Yanks Go Yard • December 27, 2016

Luis Severino remains a prized Yankees prospect that some are worried will not become a dominating starting pitcher. But Yankees fans be of good cheer: Severino will be a star in 2017. The only question is whether that will be as a starter or reliever.The Yankees farm system is bursting with talent right now. Yankees fans are dreaming of their favorite prospects becoming big-time big leaguers. They know that Gleyber Torres is coming, probably preceded by Clint Frazier. They are hopeful that guys like Chance Adams and Miguel Andujar overreach their potential and become Bronx bound.But there are two top prospects that have lost their luster but still can become superstars: Aaron Judge and Luis Severino. The jury is out on Judge but it is clear that Severino will be one of the Yankees top pitchers and will carry them deep into the season — and possibly beyond.The best case scenario is that Sevvy becomes an ace; he certainly seems to have the stuff. At Triple-A right before he was called up, he pitched to a 1.91 ERA and looked unhittable at times. And that carried over to the Major Leagues. In his first stint in 2015, he threw 62 innings in his 11 starts, posted a 2.89, and looked every bit the ace he was projected to be. By any accounting, Luis Severino had a dominating debut.Maybe it was Because it was a Leap Year?Cut to 2016: not so dominating. His fastball looked the same but his command was not nearly as good with his off-speed stuff. But what really sank him was his mentality. He seemed to fall apart after he gave up one big hit. Coaches told him he was overreacting and overthrowing, but Luis could not or would not adjust.Baseball is a game of inches and the most important are the six or seven between a player’s ears. For Sevvy, he lost the games with the first big hits against him.More from Yanks Go Yard12/27 - Luis Severino Will Star In the 2017 Postseason for Yankees12/25 - Yankees Happenings for the Week of 12/25/1612/23 - Yankees, Red Sox Matchup In London Could Happen12/22 - Yankees Talk: Stephen Curry Agrees With GM Brian Cashman12/22 - Clint Frazier Talks About Life So Far With the YankeesThe good news is that he seems to recognize that. If that means he can then fix the problems, Luis Severino will win 18 games and start the first playoff game of 2017. If he can only understand that he has issues but not overcome them, there might not be a playoff game for him or the Yankees. There is also one other possibility — that he figures it out slightly — just enough to pitch of out the bullpen. And Severino might be the closer.Pause for Angry CommentsAlright, that last bit was hyperbole meant to increase the emotions of the readers; my editor makes me do it. Chapman will be the closer and Betances will pitch the eighth. But Severino will still come out of the bullpen with closer stuff and a fear-inducing fastball. He will be Mariano Rivera circa 1996.This is what separates Sevvy from most other pitching prospects, especially Yankees pitchers. And it is not that he will be simply a reliever. Many promising pitching prospects serve their time in the Majors in bullpens. Michael Kopeck, the highly touted Red Sox prospect recently traded to the White Sox, might end up an excellent reliever.But Severino clearly has closer stuff, and that stuff resides between his ears. As a starter, he relied too much on the fastball — was a thrower rather than a pitcher, and got hurt most the second and third time through lineups. None of those things hurt him as a reliever and some play to that position’s strengths. Every aspect reinforces his confidence and helps him be the best version of himself. And that is a very good version. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports And of course there is his game face (with apologies to Bobby Knight). Outside of Michael Phelps, not many athletes have truly intimidating expressions. However, if I were a batter facing Luis Severino, his look would make me think I had recently insulted him in a very personal way and now he has that baseball in his hand and is looking at me and he can throw it at almost 100 mph and I really don’t want to be there.How many times have we heard that a key to success is making the batter uncomfortable? How comfortable can you feel waiting to see what he will do with that baseball?Are You Lookin’ At Me?This is Hall of Fame time. One of the things mentioned often is the Eye Test. Severino passes the Eye Test as a dominating pitcher. You expect him to succeed at a high level and so does he. That and his fastball are all he needs to be a powerful force in the Yankees Universe [Editor’s Note: Nerd Alert].I want Severino to return as the ace he seems capable of being. If he were to take the hill every five days and pitch to a sub 3.00 ERA, the Yankees will play at least one playoff game come next October. If not, the Yankees will lose a dominant starter. But they will add another closer-level pitcher to the bullpen.Next: Rewind from Last Week with 'YGY'I hope the team can hit enough to make a playoff run. There will need to be some pleasant surprises to make that happen. Guys like Frazier and Judge will have to produce at a high level. But what will not be a surprise is that Severino will eventually pitch in the Bronx at an All-Star level. Whether as a starter or reliever, Luis Severino will be a Yankees star in 2017.More from Yanks Go YardYankees Happenings for the Week of 12/25/162d agoYankees, Red Sox Matchup In London Could Happen4d agoYankees Talk: Stephen Curry Agrees With GM Brian Cashman5d agoClint Frazier Talks About Life So Far With the Yankees5d agoStaten Island Yankees Abandon Controversial Rebranding Effort5d agoThis article originally appeared on

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