Prospect Watch: Severino, Andriese, and Schimpf

Each weekday during the minor-league season, FanGraphs is providing a status update on multiple rookie-eligible players. Note that Age denotes the relevant prospect’s baseball age (i.e. as of July 1st of the current year); Top-15, the prospect’s place on Marc Hulet’s preseason organizational list; and Top-100, that same prospect’s rank on Hulet’s overall top-100 list.

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Luis Severino, RHP, New York Yankees (Profile)
Level: Low-A Age: 20 Top-15: 11th Top-100: N/A
Line: 19.0 IP, 15 H, 22/6 K/BB, 1.89 ERA, 2.41 FIP

Summary
He’s still raw, but Severino is helping to lead a new wave of high-ceiling prospects into the conscious mind of New York fans.

Notes
Signed for a modest bonus out of the Dominican Republic in 2012, Severino looks like a scouting coup. He’s produced excellent numbers in his two seasons of pro ball prior to 2014.

The starter pitched fewer than four innings in each of his first three outings at the Low-A ball level in ’14 but the reigns were released a bit in his fourth appearance when he struck out eight batters with no walks in 5.2 innings.

The right-hander isn’t overly tall but he does a nice job of creating a downward plate on his offerings and that allows him to generate above-average ground-ball rates. Severino has solid low-to-mid-90s velocity on his heater and his frame suggests there might be a little more giddy-up down the road. His breaking ball has nice shape and break but he slows his arm down noticeably when he throws it. The changeup has a chance to be an above-average offering for him due to its fade.

I’m not a huge fan of his delivery because it lacks deception and hitters have a long look at the ball. He struggles with both his command because his arm slot has a tendency to wander and he gets underneath the ball, causing it to stay up in the zone. However, both those issues are correctable.

Severino is far from a finished product but that can be said for most of the truly intriguing prospects in the Yankees system. As former prospect darlings like Mason Williams and Tyler Austin threaten to fall by the wayside, other much less experienced names are bubbling to the surface like Severino, Eric Jagielo, Aaron Judge, Abiatal Avelino and Luis Torrens — all of whom made my pre-season Yankees Top 15 Prospects list.

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Matt Andriese, RHP, Tampa Bay Rays (Profile)
Level: Triple-A Age: 24 Top-15: N/A Top-100: N/A
Line: 32.0 IP, 28 H, 30/10 K/BB, 4.22 ERA, 4.19 FIP

Summary
Hailing from the same school as a number of successful hurlers, Andriese could surface in Tampa Bay in the second half of the season and provide some much-needed innings to the injury-depleted staff.

Notes
Acquired from the San Diego Padres this past offseason during the seven-player Logan Forsythe deal, Andriese has been a favorite of mine since his early days in pro ball. For those who might remember, I was also a huge fan of both St. Louis’ Joe Kelly and Cleveland’s Marc Rzepczynski — all three UC Riverside alum — due to their solid fastballs and good ground-ball rates.

Andriese doesn’t have a huge ceiling but he projects to develop into a strong-framed, innings-eating No. 4 starter. He doesn’t have a true out-pitch but he attacks hitters with a four-pitch mix and, when he’s on, he pounds the lower half of the strike zone. One thing I noticed during his April 24 outing, though, was that he had a tendency to drag his arm behind him, which hurt his command. Recently, a saw him show a tight little curveball that I think has at least the potential to throw off hitters’ timings and cause them to make poor contact on the offering.

With all the injuries suffered by Tampa Bay Rays pitchers in recent months, Andriese could see time with the Rays in the second half of the 2014 season, and he might end up surprising a lot of people.

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Ryan Schimpf, IF/OF, Toronto Blue Jays (Profile)
Level: Triple-A Age: 26 Top-15: N/A Top-100: N/A
Line: .299/.440/.642, 5 HR, 15 BB, 19 K (combined AA/AAA)

Summary
Schimpf isn’t flashy and doesn’t possess a huge ceiling, but he’s versatile and offers some left-handed pop.

Notes
Recently promoted to Triple-A, Schimpf is a fun little player. He stands just 5-9 but he’s got a strong frame and the ball jumps off his bat when he makes contact. Prior to the roster move, 12 of his 18 hits in Double-A went for extra bases and he’s also walked 13 times in 17 games. Strikeouts (17) will always be a part of the 26-year-old prospect’s game; because of the upper cut in his swing his bat doesn’t stay in the hitting zone for long.

His pop, left-handed bat and versatility (He can play 2B, 3B, LF) make him an ideal candidate for a future bench role in the big leagues. Toronto hasn’t been very successful at identifying big league role players, passing on the likes of Ryan Roberts, Erik Kratz, Jonathan Diaz and Darin Mastroianni (among others) — although in some cases to later re-acquire the player — so it will be interesting to see if the organization starts to learn from its missteps.



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Marc Hulet has been writing at FanGraphs since 2008. His work focuses on prospects and fantasy. Follow him on Twitter @marchulet.


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Ryan Schimpf was one of my favorite players on the LSU team that won the title in 2009! Guy is a beast!!

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