Pirates Pitching Prospect John Sever Retires

The Pittsburgh Pirates have placed left-handed pitcher John Sever on the voluntarily retired list. The 22-year-old was a 20th round draft pick of the Pirates in 2014 out of Bethune-Cookman and had a dominating season for Bristol after signing, posting a 1.33 ERA in 40.2 innings, with 63 strikeouts. He jumped up to West Virginia in 2015 and mainly worked out of the bullpen in long relief, picking up nine starts throughout the season. Sever posted a 2.91 ERA in 86.2 innings, with 84 strikeouts. Surprisingly, the 6’5″ lefty was much tougher on right-handed batters last year, holding them to a .192 BAA. He also held righties to a .198 average in 2014. Sever gave up hits to lefties more often, though he didn’t allow a single homer to a left-handed batter in two years.

Sever didn’t make our top 50 prospect list this year, but he was still one to watch due to a fastball that touches 94 MPH and a wipeout slider, plus his ability to strikeout batters. If he decides to return to baseball, he will still be with the Pirates. Last year, Wes Freeman returned to the system briefly after retiring during the 2012 season.

  • Being from Daytona Beach, home of Bethune-Cookman, I was really pulling for him!

  • When it was mentioned he was religious I immediately thought of grant desme from the a’s who passed up a promising career suddenly for he clergy.

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD
    February 27, 2016 10:27 pm

    As a Pirates fan, I am sad and very surprised to hear this – he seemed to show a lot of promise, despite being a 20th round pick. But, on the other hand, if this was strictly his decision and he feels he wants to pursue something he feels is more important to him, I wish nothing but the best and great success for him.

  • Must be tough to be a tweener. No idea on financials, but I imagine he was far from set for life. Far from a lock to make the show. Maybe he realized he had to get out there now with the degree he had. Maybe it’s better to pull the plug now, than at 27. Get a masters, good job. Good luck, man.

  • I wish him the best in life. For someone who was having success to suddenly retire makes me think something major happened with him or in his life.

  • From browsing the available information on him, it appears that he was intelligent and religious. From what I have read on this site he apparently had a good chance of at least making it to the majors as a lefty middle reliever.

    I suspect he just decided that he had better options for his life than two more years of long bus rides and total poverty for whatever chance he had of a moment in the sun. I wish him well.

  • BallHeadWonder
    February 27, 2016 5:07 pm

    That is a shame!! Dude was doing alright!!

  • Damn. Any idea why?