#MLBPlayers411 | Luis Severino

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After struggling through much of the 2016 season, today's #MLBPlayersAllStar17 #MLBPlayers411 subject, Luis Severino, is now in Miami getting ready for his first-career All Star Game.

In a Yankees season headlined by the rise of the “Baby Bombers,” it might be easy to forget Luis, the second-youngest player on the roster at 23, has been in and out of the Yankees rotation since 2015. His 3.54 ERA and 124 strikeouts (over 106.2 innings) are both best among Yankee starters.

Last season, Luis faced the tough times that  the steep Major League learning curve often brings, going 0-8 with an 8.50 ERA in 11 starts and found himself back in Triple-A by midseason. But with his success in 2017, comes a time to reflect on the year that's been.

“I feel proud,” Luis said in a press conference after hearing he was selected. “This time last year, I was in Triple-A. I take that as a way to work harder this season, and right now I'm going to the All-Star Game.”

In that press conference, Luis also reflected on his approach coming into this season, which was to do everything in his power  could to get back to his rookie 2015 form, when he went 5-3 with a 2.89 ERA in 11 starts.

“The work I do in the offseason I think is paying off right now,” Luis said. “I had a tough year last year, they (opposing batters) hit me a lot. (Pitching coach) Larry (Rothschild) told me to work on my pitches – my changeup and fastball command. I came to camp early to work with him, and right now, everything's working.”  

Raised in Sabana de la Mar, Dominican Republic, the righty signed as an international free agent in 2011. Luis tore up the 2012 Dominican Summer League with a 1.68 ERA in 64.1 innings, earning a promotion to Class-A to start 2013. His 97 mph fastball lit up the radar gun, and Baseball America touted him as the ninth-best prospect in the Yankee farm system that year.

After appearing in the 2014 Futures Game, Luis was promoted to Double-A Trenton, where he finished the season with 127 strikeouts in 113 innings pitched. After a hot start to 2015 in which he posted a 7-0 record and a 1.91 ERA with Triple-A Scranton, Luis got the call up to the big-leagues to replace an injured Michael Pineda.

In his major league debut on Aug. 5, 2015, Luis pitched five innings, allowing just two hits, one earned run and struck out seven in a 2-1 loss to the Red Sox.  With the start, he became the youngest pitcher to start an MLB game that season.

His strikeouts have been coming in bunches of late in 2017. He struck out 11 Rays on April 13, 10 White Sox on April 18 and 12 more White Sox on June 27, a career-high. 

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