116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Sure. Of course.
The infielder fouled a baseball off his shin in his final at-bat of C.R.’s 7-2 win over Dayton at Veterans Memorial Stadium. It hit above the protective guard he wears.
Naturally, since that fits the pattern of bad luck the kid has endured throughout his minor-league career.
“I want to play every day,” Severino said. “I’m just working hard, working hard to play here every day.”
The 22-year-old switch hitter from the Dominican Republic was hit in the hand by a pitch in his very first at-bat of the Midwest League season back in April. That caused a fracture in his thumb, the very same thumb he fractured in an April 2019 game with the Kernels on a baserunning play.
Severino was sent back to the parent Minnesota Twins’ minor league complex in Florida to heal and rehab. He rejoined the Kernels the first day of June and had two hits in his initial game.
He absolutely went off Wednesday, going 4-for-4 with a pair of home runs and four RBIs. That included a prodigious 460-foot blast well over the fence in the left-center nook, the deepest part of the ballpark.
“It feels good because last week I didn’t have a very good week,” said Severino, with the translation help of Kernels hitting coach Jairo Rodriguez. “But this week, I made an adjustment to hit more (pitches) in the strike zone. Make hard contact.”
“We preach to him every day that situation,” Rodriguez said.
Severino signed with the Twins as an 18-year-old international free agent, netting a contract bonus of a reported $2.5 million. He’d originally signed with the Atlanta Braves, but the organization was stripped of his rights and the rights of other players for a violation of MLB’s international signing bonus regulations.
He has been considered a legit prospect, though the poor fortune has set him back. Severino had a hand issue that kept him out a bit last season.
You watched him here, and it was impossible not to notice there definitely is some ability.
”I felt really comfortable today,“ he said, through Rodriguez. ”I just tried to keep the ball in front and make hard contact.”
“He’s definitely got some thump in his bat from both sides of the plate,” said Kernels Manager Brian Dinkelman. “Defense he is still working on a little bit, at second base and third base. But the bat is his thing.”
The Kernels (38-21) lost the first game of this six-game series between division leaders Tuesday, but retook the lead for best overall league record thanks to Severino and some solid pitching. Bobby Milacki (3-0) got the victory in relief, with Miguel Rodriguez and Tyler Palm finishing up.
David Festa started and gave Cedar Rapids a solid five innings. Both of Dayton’s runs came in the first.
The Kernels took a three-game Western Division lead on Wisconsin into Wednesday night’s play, with a magic number of six to clinch a playoff spot with a week to go in the first half.
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