Prospects on Deck: RHP Jose Berrios – Twins
Minnesota Twins Prospect Tearing It Up
In 2016, the Minnesota Twins finished towards the bottom of every major pitching category. The struggle was real and the team lost 103 games. It was the franchises fourth highest loss total and the first time they lost 100+ games since 1982. Pitching was certainly to blame as opponents hit a combined .283 against them and they had a team ERA of 5.08 which was second to last above just the Arizona Diamondbacks who were at 5.09.
This season it seems to be a completely different story. Sure it is just almost two weeks into the season, but already the Twins staff is sending notice around the league that they aren’t the same whipping post as last year. It is evident in the majors, but also there is a trickling down effect into the higher level of the minors.
Jose Berrios, who has started this season with Triple-A Rochester, is off to a fantastic start. He has made two starts so far this season and has to have the Twins licking their chops awaiting his return to the big leagues. Berrios has a record of 1-0 and has allowed one unearned run in 14 innings pitched. He has given up seven hits and one walk, but has stuck out 13.
Drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the first round of the 2012 draft out of Papa Juan High School in Puerto Rico, Berrios has enjoyed plenty of success in the minor leagues. He has been named one of the games top pitching prospects in consecutive seasons leading up to his major league debut in 2016.
Unfortunately the success he was enjoying in the minors didn’t carry over to his time in the big leagues.
Berrios made 14 starts last season with the Minnesota Twins and wasn’t good. He carried with him an ERA over eight, and gave up 74 hits and 35 walks in just 58.1 innings. The long ball was an issue too as Berrios surrendered 12 of those as well. His 7.6 K/9 is two strikeouts lower than his average in the minor leagues. He certainly wasn’t the same pitcher once he reached the show as he was in the minors, but it is to be expected a little from a 22-year old making the leap.
A nice problem to have for the Twins is success of its pitching staff at the major league level. This allows top-flight prospects like Berrios to season a little bit more in the minors before taking the plunge again. If he continues to have success in Triple-A this season, it may be impossible for Minnesota to keep him down there.