MLB.com Columnist

Bill Ladson

Young Severino playing like vet in Nats camp

Prospect quickly gains trust of pitchers and Baker with catching ability

Young Severino playing like vet in Nats camp

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Catcher Pedro Severino is considered the 10th-best prospect in the Nationals organization by MLB.com, but the 22-year-old plays like a 10-year veteran.

Take the Nationals' 6-4 victory over the Astros on Tuesday afternoon. There he was, calling a good game with left-hander Gio Gonzalez on the mound. Whenever a mistake was made, Gonzalez took the blame. He should have listened to Severino in the fourth inning, for example, when the left-hander allowed a solo home run to Marwin Gonzalez.

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"He has a great strike zone; it seems like he is in the game," Gonzalez said of Severino. "The balls that were hit were pitches I shook off. He had the right frame of mind. If I could go back on that 0-2 fastball to Marwin, it's a glitch in the system where I thought I could go up and away. It stayed right down the middle. But Seve had the right frame of mind with another pitch."

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Severino has also looked like a veteran with the bat, going 7-for-13 (.538) in Grapefruit League play. Manager Dusty Baker has been impressed by the young catcher.

"He is into the game," Baker said. "He calls a good game. He can block. He can throw. He has really improved as a hitter. The ball jumps off his bat. All he has to do is just live and play."

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Severino is expected to start the season in the Minors, but he could find himself in the Majors by next year.

"This has been amazing for me," Severino said. "All the guys have helped me a lot. I just keep going."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.