The Pittsburgh Pirates have placed left-handed pitcher John Sever on the voluntarily retired list. The 22-year-old was a 20th round draft pick of the Pirates in 2014 out of Bethune-Cookman and had a dominating season for Bristol after signing, posting a 1.33 ERA in 40.2 innings, with 63 strikeouts. He jumped up to West Virginia in 2015 and mainly worked out of the bullpen in long relief, picking up nine starts throughout the season. Sever posted a 2.91 ERA in 86.2 innings, with 84 strikeouts. Surprisingly, the 6’5″ lefty was much tougher on right-handed batters last year, holding them to a .192 BAA. He also held righties to a .198 average in 2014. Sever gave up hits to lefties more often, though he didn’t allow a single homer to a left-handed batter in two years.
Sever didn’t make our top 50 prospect list this year, but he was still one to watch due to a fastball that touches 94 MPH and a wipeout slider, plus his ability to strikeout batters. If he decides to return to baseball, he will still be with the Pirates. Last year, Wes Freeman returned to the system briefly after retiring during the 2012 season.