One of the highlights of last season was watching the development of pitcher Severino Gonzalez. We watched him go from extended spring training to the Threshers in Clearwater, then he went to Lakewood, back to Clearwater and finished up with a win in a start for Reading. He pitched in command of the strike zone, throwing in the low 90’s with a big slow curve that was unhittable at the high A level last year.
When I watched Gonzalez pitch last year his body size reminded me of what a young Mariano Rivera must have looked like at baseball age 20 which was Severino’s age. Both of them are from Panama.
It’s amazing how similar Gonzalez’s key numbers were in the 2012 Venezuelan Summer League to the 20 year-old Phillies left hander Manuel Chavez who is in the minor league camp this year. Chavez pitched in the 2013 VSL. Gonzalez went 7-3 and averaged a strike out an inning walking only 6 in 86 innings with a 1.65 ERA in 2012. Chavez went 9-0 and averaged a strike out an inning walking only 9 in 72 innings with a 2.18 ERA.
Gonzalez ended his 2013 season pitching 103 innings averaging a little more than a strike out an inning with an almost 6-1 strike out to walk ratio at three different levels. He started 14 of his 25 outings with a 2.00 ERA. All numbers which show he can pitch at the major league level sooner than later even at his young age.
Sunday afternoon at Ashburn Field in an intrasquad game Baseball Betsy and I along with our friend Jim19 were lucky enough to watch Gonzalez make his 2014 debut from behind the backstop screen. He put on a clinic in his first inning of pitching without throwing his big curve ball. He pitches were on the corners and at the knees of the hitters. SEE HERE and HERE.
It looks like Severino is poised for another big season either at Reading or Lehigh Valley and who knows where he will end up this season. He sure moved up the Phillies chain quickly even at baseball age 20 last season. I see no reason why he can’t move up just as quickly this season.
Gonzalez was sharp in his first inning of work in Sunday’s intrasquad game below: