With all of the faults from the rotation so far in 2018, Luis Severino has proven just how great he really is. At the age of 24, Sevy has entered into the discussion of being one of the top pitchers in baseball (we’re coming for that top spot Max Scherzer!) and he seems to be getting better with each and every start.
In just 15 starts, Severino has managed to post a 10-2 record over 99 innings, 118 strikeouts, 2.09 ERA and a 0.93 WHIP. Amazingly, he has found a way to build off of a breakout 2017 season where he finished third in Cy Young award voting.
Sevy has been getting hitters out in a much more efficient manner so far this season, posting a career high in K/9, (10.73) BB/9, (2.27) and HR/9 (0.45). He has been able to strike out hitters at a higher rate, walk less hitters, and give up less home runs per nine innings than any point of his career; that’s absolutely ridiculous.
The most impressive part of Severino’s game thus far is his ability to limit the long ball. In an age where home runs are at an all-time high, and hitters focus on things like launch angle to increase their chances of hitting a home run, Luis Severino is making sure to not let hitters beat him in that manner.
Playing in a hitters ballpark, Severino leads the league in home runs per nine innings; which has helped him to post an ERA that is almost a full run less this season.
He has proven he can beat hitters in many different ways; he consistently throws the hardest average fastball in the majors among starters at 97.7 mph, a devastating slider with a high spin rate, and a change up he worked on with Red Sox great, Pedro Martinez.
Severino’s continued success surprisingly has come from less usage of his fastball. In 2017, Severino threw his fastball 51.4% of the time but in 2018, his fastball usage has dropped to 48.7%. He has been trying to work in more breaking pitches like his slider and change up, which has forced more swing and misses and weak contact.
At age 24, we can definitively say Luis Severino is one of the best pitchers in baseball, and the scary thing is, he likely will keep improving. He has still yet to hit the prime of his career, and we can only expect him to get better with more experience at the major league level.
Severino has been arguably the most important part of the Yankees success so far in 2018. Aaron Boone has been able to pencil him in every fifth day and (outside of one bad start against Boston in the beginning of the season) has been able to get at least 6 IP from the Yankees ace.
He is leading a pitching staff that has been up and down so far in 2018 and it seems as though he is going to continue to be the workhorse for this team for years to come.
Much has been made of Justin Verlander’s so far historic season in Houston, but at this rate, Severino has been able to put himself into the conversation of AL Cy Young.