Yankees pitching prospect Luis Severino earns high praise at Futures Game

Yankees prospect Luis Severino of the World Team Yankees prospect Luis Severino of the World Team looks on during batting practice prior to the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game against the U.S. Team at Target Field on July 13, 2014 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Elsa

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MINNEAPOLIS - It was the Joey Gallo Show at Sunday's Futures Game, where the sport's best young prospects were put on display as part of the All-Star Week festivities.

Gallo, a power-hitting third baseman in the Rangers' system, followed up his batting-practice fireworks with a towering two-run homer in the U.S. team's 3-2 win over the World.

But the only pitcher to cut the 6-5, 205-pound Gallo down to size was one of the game's more slightly built stars, the Yankees' Luis Severino.

Severino, generously listed at 6 feet, 195 pounds, has drawn comparisons with Pedro Martinez for his whip-like throwing motion, easy velocity and nasty breaking pitches. If that wasn't enough to get people's attention Sunday, the manner in which he tamed Gallo definitely did.

He started Gallo with two fastballs, at 94 and 96, and followed with an 85-mph changeup. At that point, Gallo was left guessing with two strikes, and Severino froze him with a perfect slider. Gallo looked powerless for the first time all day.

"It started up here and went like this," said Gallo, dropping his right hand from his shoulders to his knees. "That was a great pitch. Hat's off to him."

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When told of Gallo's praise, Severino smiled. He's dominating again since his recent promotion to high Class A Tampa, with a 1.31 ERA in four starts. Severino, 20, also has 28 strikeouts and six walks in 20 2/3 innings. "I'm feeling good," he said.

When asked about possibly moving quickly up the Yankees' ladder, he said, "I think so. I feel I'm pitching well."

The only question is whether the Yankees might feel compelled to use Severino in a package to trade for a starter who can help them immediately. Severino said he's thinking only about being with the Yankees and hasn't worried too much about it.

A pitcher who's likened to Pedro? Might be worth holding on to.

Notes & quotes: Kevin Plawecki, selected 35th overall by the Mets in the 2012 draft, is one step away from the majors after his recent promotion to Triple-A Las Vegas. With Travis d'Arnaud in front of him, however, he's also a potential trade chip. "All I can focus on is take it day by day, have fun and enjoy the ride," said Plawecki, who had an RBI groundout in Sunday's game. "I don't know what the future holds. None of us do." . . . Yankees first-base prospect Peter O'Brien, who has 29 homers in 88 minor-league games this season, struck out twice.

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