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Minnesota Wild season 2018-2019

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Article: 2018 Twins Highlights: Top Pitching Performances

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Article: What if This is the Max for Kepler?

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2018 MLB Postseason Discussion Thread

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Berrios Has Been Nearly Flawless Through 4 Starts

Despite his pristine numbers at every level of the minors, Jose Berrios had his share of detractors in the prospect analyst community.

The knock on him was usually the same, and it made sense: When diminutive fly-ball pitchers with no downward plane go up against giant big-league hitters with uppercut swings, the home runs tend to mount.

And yet, what was supposed to be the right-hander's biggest weakness has in fact been one of his greatest strengths.
Image courtesy of Brad Rempel, USA Today
After keeping Cleveland hitters in the yard over seven shutout innings on Wednesday night, Berrios has allowed only one home run over four starts this season. Last year, he surrendered only 15 long balls in 145 innings. His 0.93 HR/9 rate was best among Twins starters, and would have placed him among MLB's top 10 if he qualified.

Still only 23 years old, Berrios is establishing himself as one of the stingiest pitchers in the game when it comes to homers. It isn't exactly hard to see why.

Batters have struggled to catch up to his 94 MPH fastball. The lively two-seamer has so much run it's almost impossible to barrel. And his heavily featured curveball has a case as one of the best pitches in the game today. Berrios delivers it with such consistent zip and tight spin that he pretty much never hangs one.

According to the PitchFX data available through Brooks Baseball, opponents have slugged .095 against Berrios' curve this year. Zero ninety five!

The batted ball data bears this out as well. Check out the ratio of hard-hit versus soft-hit, and how it's evolved in his three seasons as a big-leaguer:

Attached Image: berriosbbdatafg.JPG


So when Berrios isn't striking people out, which he's done at an exceptional rate, he's inducing weak contact like no one else. His soft contact rate is the highest in the league and his hard contact rate is tied with Philadelphia's Aaron Nola as the lowest.

Even with the somewhat rough go in his second start (an outing in which he was brilliant through three innings before unraveling in sub-30 conditions), Berrios has been as close to perfect on the hill as you'll ever see. His 1.63 ERA matches up almost exactly with his 1.70 FIP, reinforcing that there's been zero luck involved with his transcendent performance.

It's only four starts. We're still in the middle of April. But Jose Berrios is showing every sign of being ready to turn the corner and become an ace for the Twins.

  • Blake, raindog, Monkeypaws and 6 others like this

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33 Comments

He's appointment tv right now. Almost as electric as Liriano before he got hurt. It's a delight to watch him bend Uncle Charlie at a hitter.

 

I'd argue that his ability to avoid walks this season is even more important than his increased stinginess on the HRs, but the combination is fantastic. He really seems to have a handle on his control right now: dude is even cut down on his HBP!

 

Berrios is crushing it right now, and looks every part the ace we've all been dreaming of.

    • Blake, Twins33, bdodge22 and 11 others like this

 

He's appointment tv right now. Almost as electric as Liriano before he got hurt. It's a delight to watch him bend Uncle Charlie at a hitter.

 

I'd argue that his ability to avoid walks this season is even more important than his increased stinginess on the HRs, but the combination is fantastic. He really seems to have a handle on his control right now: dude is even cut down on his HBP!

 

Berrios is crushing it right now, and looks every part the ace we've all been dreaming of.

I have been really enthused by his frugality in pitch count. I don't have the data but it seems to me that so far this year, the tendencies are to have a low enough pitch count to go deeper into games. Great sign of development.

    • Blake, gunnarthor, Twins33 and 10 others like this

This is the pitcher we imagined when everyone - including me - wanted him up for the race at the end of the year instead of Duffey.As it turned out we were premature, but our expectations were realistic.Berrios is the first really terrific pitcher we have developed since Liriano.All I can say is keep him healthy and then start bringing up our other young arms - Romero is next as far as future potential and Gonsalves is good to fill out the rotation.Very exciting potential. 

    • Loosey, h2oface, Vanimal46 and 5 others like this
So exciting!
    • Jerr, Vanimal46, SF Twins Fan and 2 others like this
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twinssporto
Apr 19 2018 09:07 AM

I have really enjoyed watching Berrios pitch this year.  He looks totally in control while on the mound.  It's almost like he pitches with a little anger...definitely more aggressive than most.  Pitches inside with no fear.  He also works quickly on the mound which is a nice trait to see in a 23 year old pitcher.

 

 

    • Blake, gunnarthor, snepp and 6 others like this

Yeah, he's just been pounding the strike zone. I love the lack of walks. He also seems like he could be a 200 inning pitcher, which is getting rare in this day and age.

 

As an aside, it's just fun to watch him (and the other young guys) after years of waiting for them in the minors. 

    • Blake, diehardtwinsfan, Twins33 and 12 others like this
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Tom Froemming
Apr 19 2018 09:20 AM

Here are the current MLB leaders in exit velocity against (min. 50 results)

 

80.4 mph Brent Suter 

80.9 mph Jose Berrios

82.1 mph Kyle Hendricks

84.0 mph Jacob deGrom

84.9 mph Clayton Kershaw

85.1 mph Aaron Nola

 

I believe league average is something like 88 mph.

    • Twins33, snepp, dbminn and 6 others like this
I love watching Berrios pitch, for many reasons that people have already mentioned. He's not afraid to attack hitters, his stuff is fantastic, and he's determined to pitch deep into the ball game when he gets the nod.

Because of him I'm losing patience VERY quickly for pitchers like Gibson who still refuse to attack the strike zone.
    • Blake, twinssporto, SF Twins Fan and 2 others like this

God, I'm loving his success so far. So refreshing to have a potential ace locked up in the rotation. 

    • Nine of twelve likes this
Just about the best possible development to the young season.
    • Blake, diehardtwinsfan, snepp and 5 others like this

I hope Molitor keeps Berrios on his normal rest and gives him game 1 against the Yankees.I've read some notes that Phil Hughes may pitch Sunday against the Rays pushing Odorizzi to Monday at the Bronx.

 

Berrios will be up to the challenge of going into Yankee Stadium on Monday.I'm not trying to say that Odorizzi isn't, but Berrios is on a different level right now.Start the series with him. He can keep Stanton cold and get the boobirds going early in the series.

 

 

    • Blake, lsh and Nine of twelve like this
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TheLeviathan
Apr 19 2018 10:03 AM

I think I have a new favorite player.

    • diehardtwinsfan, Danchat, Drew and 1 other like this

Good heavens he was good last night.No, great.Happy for him to be able to do that in Puerto Rico.Future Cy Young!

 

    • Nine of twelve likes this

I know it's early, but it's shaping up to be a fun season.

    • Nine of twelve likes this
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Nine of twelve
Apr 19 2018 11:52 AM
There's a certain lefty currently on the Dodgers' roster who can become a free agent in November. Coupling him with Berrios at the top of the rotation in conjunction with our up-and-comers in the lineup...Wishful thinking, I realize, but wow, wouldn't that be fun!
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Nine of twelve
Apr 19 2018 12:09 PM
27.2 IP, 29 K, 1 BB. With numbers like that you don't need advanced metrics to know that he's been one of the best pitchers in the game so far this season.
    • Twins33, Danchat and Dozier's Glorious Hair like this

 

I hope Molitor keeps Berrios on his normal rest and gives him game 1 against the Yankees.I've read some notes that Phil Hughes may pitch Sunday against the Rays pushing Odorizzi to Monday at the Bronx.

 

Berrios will be up to the challenge of going into Yankee Stadium on Monday.I'm not trying to say that Odorizzi isn't, but Berrios is on a different level right now.Start the series with him. He can keep Stanton cold and get the boobirds going early in the series.

I'm looking forward to the Yankees because the team this year is definitely not the team of last year.

My favorite 2018 Berrios stat:

 

27 2/3s innings pitched so far this season, and he's only given up runs in 2 of them.

    • Jerr, Twins33 and Nine of twelve like this

Man, if he continues to pitch like this he is going to be fun to watch.The work I would have to use to describe him right now is "Electric"!

I'm looking forward to the Yankees because the team this year is definitely not the team of last year.

Which team is not the same as last year?
Me and a friend were talking about the Twins over a barley soda shortly before the season started. My bold prediction was Berrios will be in the Cy Young conversation. At this rate, he my surpass that wildly irresponsible prediction (at the time) and actually win it.

Out if all of the possible extensions being kicked around (Sano, Buxton, Rosario, Kepler, etc), I think the most important piece to keep around long-term is Berrios.
    • Hosken Bombo Disco likes this

I would love the opportunity to stand in the box as his curveball comes in. It looks so absurd on TV that I can't imagine how hard it would be to comprehend standing there with a bat in your hands. 

 

    • ashburyjohn, snepp, MN_ExPat and 1 other like this

I think what's impressed me most about Berrios this year is his efficiency.He's going deep into games while striking guys out.Obviously only walking one guy (also very impressive) helps that, but he's not wasting pitches like guys like Gibson do routinely.He's definitely the guy I hope the other top rotation prospects in the minors are watching very closely.  

 

Pitching with confidence, in rhythm, with a plan and without fear is a thing of beauty.It's an absolute pleasure to watch guys like that pitch.Something that we've only seen from opponents around these parts for quite a while. 

    • diehardtwinsfan, Monkeypaws, adorduan and 1 other like this

Although a small sample size, his ability to get through innings with fewer pitches is to the most exciting thing to me.Having a starter able to consistently go deep in games helps out a bullpen that has some issues.

    • Nine of twelve likes this
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Hosken Bombo Disco
Apr 19 2018 03:24 PM
This offseason, I thought it might take about two years for Berrios to become better than Darvish. Looks like my guess was off by about two years. :)
    • ashburyjohn, USNMCPO and Nine of twelve like this

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