Berrios Has Been Nearly Flawless Through 4 Starts
Image courtesy of Brad Rempel, USA TodayAfter 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:
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