September 1, 2017
Luis Severino's Giant Leap
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Baseball is such a different beast than the other major sports, and as an extension fantasy baseball takes on different challenges. With pretty much every player playing pretty much every day, it’s so easy for trends and entire seasons to fly under the radar. Because of that, there are underrated stars in just about every season, and some can even manage to get less than their due for stretches of multiple years. I’ve spent much of this season highlighting some of these players, with perhaps the best being Anthony Rendon. It’s just an unavoidable side effect of baseball that players are going to fly under the radar, and one of the keys to being a good fantasy player is recognizing these kind of trends before everyone else in your league.
With all of that being said, every once in a while, there are still players who I can’t believe don’t get their fair due. Just given the circumstances around them, they deserve more headlines than they receive, but for whatever reason it doesn’t happen. This year, that seems to be happening with Luis Severino. Now, don’t get me wrong. I think mostly everyone recognizes that he’s been very good this year, but he’s not being included in the elite class of pitchers even though he’s performed that well. Even in the real baseball landscape, the American League is viewed as Chris Sale and Corey Kluber, then everyone else. Really, Severino has been good enough that he’s closer to those two than to everyone else. It’s just surprising that he hasn’t gotten that due considering he’s the ace of the New York Yankees, a fairly large baseball franchise, as well as being a former top prospect in his early-20s who throws flames.
Either way, no matter the attention or possible lack thereof he’s gotten, Severino has made a leap into the top tiers of fantasy starting pitchers. And what a leap it is. It seems so far ago now, but coming into the season it wasn’t even clear if the 23-year-old would even make it into New York’s rotation. Some saw his ideal role in the bullpen given his 2016 struggles. As a result, he was selected as the 100th overall starting pitcher in NFBC drafts this past spring and in the 24th round overall. All he’s done since then is put up a 3.14 ERA over 26 starts with a 3.09 DRA that supports that skill set. That, along with some other skills we’ll get into in a minute, has been good enough to make him the No. 9 starting pitcher in fantasy this year, according to ESPN’s Player Rater.