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  • Pickin' Berrios

    Most every hardcore Twins fan is well aware of the Puerto Rican 18-year-old we picked up in last June's draft (Jose Orlando Berrios! for the rest of you). After dominating both rookie levels in 2012, this kid is screaming fast-track potential. Where can we expect this guy to finish the 2013 season?



    J.O. is what they are gonna call him. And he should certainly get to pick his nickname after averaging 14.4 K's/9 innings as a minor-league-rookie.
    That is ridiculous, and 2013 will show if he can keep those numbers up as a starting pitcher. He pitched 30.2 innings with 49 K's in 2012, and opponents hit .140. Holy moly!

    This guy is only 6-foot-nothing, a-hundred-eighty-nothing (short and scrawny). But he generates tremendous force behind his pitches. Before the draft, the numbers and reports the Twins had on him were this: 90-93 fastball with 3/4 arm slot creating tail...78 on the slurve with hard break down and away from RHH...79 on the Change-up with heavy action in to a RHH. He was praised for his command of the off-speed stuff, especially the change-up.

    After checking out a few videos on youtube, I see that this kid really has an electric fastball. A low 90's fastball isn't all that impressive by itself. But J.O. has a very deliberate motion toward the plate and hides the ball extremely well, making that low 90's heat feel like mid 90's to the hitter. His breaking ball is "as advertised" and shall be an out pitch for the talented right-hander. The change-up looks like filth to me, and should prove to keep many pro-hitters from guessing on the fastball.

    So the real question now is this: Will the organization fast-track this kid in 2013, and allow him to move multiple levels? I am sure his performance will determine this, but the guy will only be 19. So, perhaps the organization will play it safe and limit his innings and appearances? Berrios has been described as physically mature beyond his age (whatever that means), so maybe he gets a heavier workload than someone else his age.



    I predict: Berrios shows how his hard working attitude can produce crazy good numbers. Reports from the end of last summer had him hitting 94-96 on the gun, so he's got serious MLB potential. He may start in Elizabethton, but I see him definitely playing A ball before the season ends. If it was up to me, I would start him in Cedar Rapids and play it by ear from there. He is oh-so-ready for the low-A level, and you know it.

    Please leave your opinion on Berrios below. Thanks!
    This article was originally published in blog: Pickin' Berrios started by mnfanforlife
    Comments 110 Comments
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      Quote Originally Posted by PseudoSABR View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
      If he's as awesome as so many claim, why take that long?
      The potential for awesomeness doesn't equate to immediate awesomeness.
      So yet another high draft pick we'll wait 5 of more years for...and everyone seems okay with that.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      I do not think everyone is ok with that...but not sure what we can do about it either...
    1. PseudoSABR's Avatar
      PseudoSABR -
      Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by PseudoSABR View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
      If he's as awesome as so many claim, why take that long?
      The potential for awesomeness doesn't equate to immediate awesomeness.
      So yet another high draft pick we'll wait 5 of more years for...and everyone seems okay with that.
      Five years? Three to four for a highschooler is completely normal, dude.
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      Quote Originally Posted by PseudoSABR View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by PseudoSABR View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
      If he's as awesome as so many claim, why take that long?
      The potential for awesomeness doesn't equate to immediate awesomeness.
      So yet another high draft pick we'll wait 5 of more years for...and everyone seems okay with that.
      Five years? Three to four for a highschooler is completely normal, dude.
      Some are saying he's still 3-4 years out, minimum...
    1. sorney's Avatar
      sorney -
      Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by PseudoSABR View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by PseudoSABR View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
      If he's as awesome as so many claim, why take that long?
      The potential for awesomeness doesn't equate to immediate awesomeness.
      So yet another high draft pick we'll wait 5 of more years for...and everyone seems okay with that.
      Five years? Three to four for a highschooler is completely normal, dude.
      Some are saying he's still 3-4 years out, minimum...
      If he doesn't blow out his arm, or doesn't stall out vs better competition.....
    1. righty8383's Avatar
      righty8383 -
      I think he will continue to dominate and make his debut at the age of 20. (he turns 21 in May, 2015)
    1. Jim H's Avatar
      Jim H -
      Seth suggested earlier in this thread that the Twins may keep Berrios in extended Spring Training to protect his arm/ limit his innings. I have to confess that I don't entirely understand this. While he is in extended Spring Training he will be pitching on a regular schedule and actually pitching in controlled games. I can understand where you might not want to sent a young Puerto Rican kid up to the Midwest League to pitch in what could be extremely cold conditions in April. I don't think the overall wear and tear on a young man's arm will be a lot different pitching in extended Spring Training or the Midwest League, however.
    1. TRex's Avatar
      TRex -
      Why, exactly, do you think that extended spring is no different than the MWL? Is pitcher usage in the MWL then also no different than the Arizona fall league?

      Although I must confess to having no specific data on extended spring box scores, I doubt that pitchers in extended spring average 6 innings per start like good MWL pitchers. Last fall, Berrios averaged only 3.2 innings per start.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      So have him start and pitch 3 innings in the Midwest League. Challenge him.
    1. kab21's Avatar
      kab21 -
      Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post

      Some are saying he's still 3-4 years out, minimum...
      If he's up in 3-4 yrs he will be 21-22 yrs old. Start naming non-elite prospects that are up for good younger than that.

      Facts:
      He was a supplemental pick in a weak draft
      He hasn't pitched in full season ball
      Scouts not associated with the Twins expect him to take 3-4 yrs

      This isn't an example of the Twins holding him back (yet). Let's wait and see what he does in full season ball before we consider 3-4 yrs outrageous.
    1. mnfanforlife's Avatar
      mnfanforlife -
      In reply to ThePuck.........

      Right, well there really isn't an easy answer to your question...why take that long with Berrios? I gave you my opinion on where he should realistically start and finish the next two summers. Again, in my opinion, Berrios, Buxton, and all the other top "pigs" in the pageant should be pushed along FAST and made to STRUGGLE in the minor leagues. They should learn to overcome adversity in the minors, and will be better at dealing with the imminent adversity they will face in the Major Leagues. Just my opinion, but other organizations seem to operate this way.
    1. mnfanforlife's Avatar
      mnfanforlife -
      In reply to kab21........

      If Berrios is up at 21, I will be shocked. I don't think the Twins want anyone up that young, as they see it as a poor business decision for the organization. Imagine that..poor business decisions being made by the Twins front office. Hey with all the crap personnel moves Smith and Ryan have made over the last 3 years, there is no way they push any of their top prospects too quickly. There would be too many questions to answer. It looks like we are going back to the 1990's with our ultra-conservative approach to re-building a roster with a $23 mil catcher.
    1. mnfanforlife's Avatar
      mnfanforlife -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      I do not think everyone is ok with that...but not sure what we can do about it either...
      true story
    1. mnfanforlife's Avatar
      mnfanforlife -
      Quote Originally Posted by Jim H View Post
      Seth suggested earlier in this thread that the Twins may keep Berrios in extended Spring Training to protect his arm/ limit his innings. I have to confess that I don't entirely understand this. While he is in extended Spring Training he will be pitching on a regular schedule and actually pitching in controlled games. I can understand where you might not want to sent a young Puerto Rican kid up to the Midwest League to pitch in what could be extremely cold conditions in April. I don't think the overall wear and tear on a young man's arm will be a lot different pitching in extended Spring Training or the Midwest League, however.
      I am fine with him starting in ext sprng trning....but he needs to be able to move up quickly once he does get to CR...jtrinaldi said he will be in A ball by May...thats fine, I just want to see him get the opp to move multiple levels if he dominates next year and the following year. Other than the disastrous trades recently, the front office has other faults in the way they develop their top prospects. The recent evidence: none are ready quickly (Hicks, Arcia, Benson, Parmelee, Salcedo, Soliman, Slama, Gibson, Wimmers, Guerra, etc.), and none have realized their potential (Slowey, Hendriks, Hoey, Dozier, Nishioka, etc., etc.) yet. Obviously more prospects will flop than flourish, but the Twins have been awful recently on both the trade, and prospect development fronts.
    1. kab21's Avatar
      kab21 -
      Quote Originally Posted by mnfanforlife View Post
      In reply to kab21........

      If Berrios is up at 21, I will be shocked. I don't think the Twins want anyone up that young, as they see it as a poor business decision for the organization. Imagine that..poor business decisions being made by the Twins front office. Hey with all the crap personnel moves Smith and Ryan have made over the last 3 years, there is no way they push any of their top prospects too quickly. There would be too many questions to answer. It looks like we are going back to the 1990's with our ultra-conservative approach to re-building a roster with a $23 mil catcher.
      Regardless of what you think of the FO, do you really think that Berrios is the type of prospect that is up for good at age 21 or before. We're not talking about a Dylan Bundy here. We're talking about a sandwich pick which some questioned a little at the time that has about 40 rk ball innings and scouting reports that say he can be a good #3. Even now with the hype getting a little out of control very few would put him on a top 100 prospect list.

      Let's stop acting like the Twins are guilty of taking an ultra conservative route with Berrios when he's one of the few HS'ers that have played at both rk ball levels in their first season. That's not even mentioning that he did it in the year he was drafted due to the new CBA rules which get players signed earlier.
    1. mnfanforlife's Avatar
      mnfanforlife -
      True that Berrios could never become a #1 or #2 guy. Hey, he might even flop completely. Lets just hope that he reproduces his rookie numbers over the next few levels so we can get him up to Minnesota at 21-22 for good. If he is a good #3 then he will probably be our ace.

      Maybe he isnt a top 100 guy right now, but could certainly be with dominant numbers in low-A next year. That is, if he gets significant innings at low-A

      And time will tell if the Twins are too conservative with Berros. I am merely suggesting he be fast tracked if his numbers call for it.
    1. mnfanforlife's Avatar
      mnfanforlife -
      Anyone think Berrios pitches in A+ this coming summer?
    1. kab21's Avatar
      kab21 -
      Quote Originally Posted by mnfanforlife View Post
      Anyone think Berrios pitches in A+ this coming summer?
      He is almost for sure going to start in low A and I would give him a <20% chance of moving up. He's good but he's not an elite HS'er or a college pitcher that is going to move fast. And the Twins do have a history of taking it slow with prospects. However if he dominates low A he could get promoted in the 2nd half.
    1. mnfanforlife's Avatar
      mnfanforlife -
      Do you think he will have enough time in Low-A to dominate enough? Considering he may not join Cedar Rapids until the weather is "nice"
    1. nicksaviking's Avatar
      nicksaviking -
      Quote Originally Posted by mnfanforlife View Post
      Anyone think Berrios pitches in A+ this coming summer?
      Nope, the Twins make nearly all HS players stay a full year at low A. Arcia got to skip out after half a season but he was a hitter. Berrios will get no higher than CR this year.
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