The Baltimore Orioles just might have found a reliable option behind the plate. If all else fails, there’s Pedro Severino.
With the Baltimore Orioles drafting former Oregon State catcher Adley Rutschman number one overall in this week’s MLB draft, catchers on the big club’s roster may be sitting ducks, just biding time until Rutschman’s sooner rather than later arrival to the major league scene.
However, Pedro Severino has been good enough this season for the organization to keep an eye on him as the 2019 season goes on.
The former Washington Nationals catcher was acquired by the Orioles in a waiver claim this past offseason. He was not able to hang on in the nation’s capital, posting a .187/.273/.287 slash line in parts of four seasons. He often appeared in top-prospect lists while in Washington, but never was able to become the player the Nationals’ organization hoped for.
This season in Baltimore has been an entirely different story for Severino. The 25-year-old has been excellent for the Orioles, both with the bat and behind the dish, currently sitting second on the team with a 1.2 WAR according to Baseball Reference. In 34 games, he is hitting .288 with a .370 on-base percentage and slugging a whopping .567. He has eight home runs, including three on Tuesday night to power the Birds to a win over the Texas Rangers.
Severino is also having a solid defensive season. He is not only leading the American League in caught stealing percentage, but his 56.3% caught stealing rate is good for first in all of baseball (for catchers with at least 200 innings behind the plate). While four errors and five passed balls are not great, given it is June 5th and Severino has played in just 31 games, having a caught stealing percentage that high has been a positive.
If Severino can keep up these terrific numbers, the organization might want to consider him as a long-term option, given the history of top draft picks not working out. Rutschman, while a generational prospect, may not work out (past experiences often lead O’s fans to expect the worst case scenario), and if the team were to clear out the catching position to make room for him, there could be a hole at the catching position again. Keeping a solid second catcher on hand is necessary and Severino should be the guy.
At 25 years of age, he can continue to develop with the Orioles and provide a notable one-two punch with Rutschman. A healthy and productive Severino also allows Rustschman to ease into the majors.
Thoughts or opinions about Pedro Severino’s short time with the Orioles this season? Let us know!