Yunior Severino, 17, signed out of the Dominican Republic by the Atlanta Braves for $1.9 million during the 2016 July 2 deadline. He is listed at 6’1 and 180 lbs. A switch hitter, scouts love his raw power and ability to barrel balls, and view him as an offense first middle infielder. Baseball America ranked him as the #8 prospect while MLB.com slotted him at #19 in their respective International Amateur free agent rankings.
Severino made his pro debut earlier this summer in the Dominican Summer League where he posted an underwhelming .650 OPS in 10 games. The Braves, who are traditionally aggressive with their Latin American signees promoted Severino to the Gulf Cost League on June 26, 2017. Since his stateside debut, Severino has been on a tear, slashing .339/.414/.500 in 17 games. He has posted 7 multi hit games and has had at least 1 hit in 13 of the last 14 games, including a current 6 game hitting streak.
I have seen Severino twice this season. The first, on June 30, against the Yankees West, Severino hit an oppo triple as a RH hitter and walked twice. In the second game, on July 5 against the Blue Jays, he posted a multi hit effort as a lefty. Severino has quick wrists, especially as a left-handed hitter and a smooth stroke and I really like the sound of the ball coming off his bat.
Defensively, I have yet to see him play SS. The GCL Braves were deep up the middle with the recently promoted Kevin Maitan and fellow July 2 signee Livan Soto. Scouts seem to think that Severino will either grow into a 3B or switch to 2B, citing a lack of range as a factor for a change of position. Regardless, his bat is his carrying tool and he is definitely a prospect to keep an eye on as he matures and develops.