Atahualpa Severino

Born: Novermber 6, 1984
Height: 5’11”
Weight: 220
Bats: Left
Throws: Left
Signed: Int’l free agent, 2004 (Expos)
How Acquired: Trade with Royals (cash)
Country: Dominican Republic
Agent: N/A


Severino signed with the Montreal Expos during their vagabond days; his $6,000 bonus was big money for a team that had nearly nothing to spend on international players.  He throws a fastball that runs from 89-93 and an inconsistent curve.  He also throws the occasional change to right-handed hitters.  He signed in 2004, but missed all of 2005 following Tommy John surgery.  He’s had increasing control troubles as he’s moved up, including significant problems in AAA.  He seems to profile as a LOOGY, but he hasn’t had significant platoon splits, at least not in AAA.  He’s generally been a groundball pitcher.

DSL:  2-0-1, 0.99 ERA, 0.77 WHIP, 45.1 IP, 3.4 BB/9, 15.7 K/9

Severino was nearly untouchable in the Dominican Summer League.

DSL:  3-0-0, 0.48 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 18.2 IP, 1.0 BB/9, 14.9 K/9
GCL:  1-0-0, 2.94 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 33.2 IP, 2.7 BB/9, 7.5 K/9

Severino had three dominant starts in the DSL, then moved up to the GCL.  He pitched well there, too, but with a much lower K rate.

A:  4-2-1, 4.05 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 33.1 IP, 4.6 BB/9, 9.2 K/9
A+:  0-4-0, 3.96 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 38.2 IP, 4.7 BB/9, 7.2 K/9

Severino split the season between the two class A levels, pitching strictly in relief.  In fact, he hasn’t started a game anywhere since 2008.  He remained difficult to hit but started having control problems.

A+:  4-0-13, 2.54 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 47.0 IP, 2.7 BB/9, 7.6 K/9
AA:  6-0-2, 2.78 ERA, 1.46 WHIP, 22.2 IP, 5.6 BB/9, 10.7 K/9  

The Nationals sent Severino back to high A, where he pitched well as closer for two-thirds of the season.  He moved up to AA and had control problems there.  After the season, Baseball America ranked him as the Nationals’ 24th best prospect and the team added him to the 40-man roster.

AAA:  6-3-1, 3.34 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 67.1 IP, 3.9 BB/9, 6.1 K/9

Severino spent the minor league season in AAA and was generally effective, but with mediocre BB and K rates.

AAA:  1-2-1, 4.50 ERA, 1.88 WHIP, 32.0 IP, 6.5 BB/9, 10.7 K/9
MLB:  1-0-0, 3.86 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 4.2 IP, 1.9 BB/9, 13.5 K/9

Severino struggled more than before with his control in AAA and also got hit harder than previously, leading to a lot of baserunners.  The Nationals called him up in September anyway and he pitched much better in the majors.

AAA:  3-0-3, 2.81 ERA, 1.52 WHIP, 48.0 IP, 6.8 BB/9, 8.1 K/9

Despite the good ERA, Severino continued to struggle badly with his control in AAA.  The Nats designated him for assignment in August.

AAA (KC):  0-0-0, 3.00 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 9.0 IP, 6.0 BB/9, 10.0 K/9
AAA (Pgh):  0-3-1, 3.72 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 46.0 IP, 2.5 BB/9, 9.4 K/9

Severino caught on with the Royals, but pitched only sparingly for them in AAA, with continued control problems.  The Pirates acquired him at the end of May.  He pitched well out of the Indianapolis bullpen the rest of the year.  His numbers were inflated by two spot starts in which he allowed 12 hits and seven earned runs in 5.1 IP.  As a reliever he had a 2.66 ERA and .240 opponents’ average, and fanned just over a batter an inning.  For the whole season Severino had a big platoon split, with lefties hitting .179 against him and righties .311.  He was not a groundball pitcher with Indianapolis.

Severino will be a free agent after the season.  He did well enough that the Pirates could consider bringing him back, but his chances of making the majors might be better in an organization that did not have Tony Watson and Justin Wilson.

Baseball Reference–Majors
Baseball Reference–Minors
2013: Minor league contract
Signing Bonus: $6,000
MiLB Debut: 2006
MLB Debut: 9/26/2011
MiLB FA Eligible: 2013
MLB FA Eligible: 2019
Rule 5 Eligible: Eligible
Added to 40-Man: 5/25/07
Options Remaining: 1 (USED:  2010, 2011)
MLB Service Time: 0.028
February 13, 2004: Signed as an international free agent with the Montreal Expos.
November 19, 2009: Contract purchased by the Washington Nationals.
August 6, 2012: Designated for assignment by the Washington Nationals; outrighted to AAA on August 12.
November 3, 2012: Became a free agent.
November 16, 2012: Signed as a minor league free agent with the Kansas City Royals.
May 31, 2013: Traded by the Kansas City Royals to the Pittsburgh Pirates for cash considerations.