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How Soon Could Top Prospect Brusdar Graterol Debut?

Brusdar Graterol has been regarded as one of Minnesota’s top prospects over the last two seasons and now the time might be right for him to debut. With a triple-digit fastball, it’s hard not to get excited about what he could provide to the Twins pitching staff. It’s not out of the question to see Graterol in Minnesota by the end of the month.
Image courtesy of Pensacola Blue Wahoos (Brusdar Graterol)
Assistant General Manager Rob Antony was interviewed by Darren Wolfson earlier this week. When Wolfson asked about Graterol joining the Twins, Anthony made the team’s position clear.

“I would say absolutely,” Antony said. “That came into play when we talked about some of these guys some relievers that we talked about. We looked at each other and basically said, ‘Why not bring up Graterol?’”

Graterol, the 20-year old righty, is working his way back from a shoulder issue- impingement- that had him on the injured list. In two appearances with the GCL Twins, he has thrown three scoreless innings by allowing one hit and striking out four. His fastball has been in the high-90s with good movement and some radar guns had him top out at 101 mph. He was added back to Pensacola's roster on Wednesday.

“His arm feels great.” Antony went on to say. “So, we need to build him up and give him a few more outings and hopefully that continues, and I don’t think we’d be afraid to run him up here and see if he can’t be part of the equation in the bullpen.”

In nine starts for Pensacola, Graterol has posted a 1.89 ERA with a 1.05 WHIP to go along with 46 strikeouts in 47 2/3 innings. Also, he has a 3.26 FIP, 8.69 K/9, 3.59 BB/9 and a 52.1% groundball rate. So far this season in the Southern League, the average age for pitchers is 24.3 years old. This means Graterol is almost a full month younger than the second youngest pitcher in the league.

Even with the time missed because of injury, Graterol is still a consensus top-60 prospect in all of baseball. In their mid-season updates, Baseball America put him as their number 34 prospect, the highest of any major ranking. FanGraphs (52) and MLB.com (58) both had him in their top-60. Here at Twins Daily, he was our number three ranked prospect.

Antony also hinted at the possibility of Graterol filling a multi-inning role that could be a big boost to a bullpen that has seemed to have a direct line to Rochester in recent weeks. Minnesota’s bullpen has completely transformed after parting ways with Matt Magill, Adalberto Mejia, Mike Morin and Blake Parker. Sergio Romo and Sam Dyson were added at the deadline, but Dyson is already on the injured list.

Entering play on Wednesday, Minnesota’s bullpen had a 4.45 ERA, which ranked 17th in MLB. The Twins also don’t rank favorably when it comes to relievers FIP (23rd), BB/9 (25th), LOB% (23rd) and HR/FB (27th). Graterol’s talent could certainly help these numbers if he is healthy and the Twins feel he is ready to be added to the team’s 40-man roster.

Antony didn’t beat around the bush. “I would not be surprised to see him up in Minnesota at some point. Maybe this month…”

Do you think Graterol could help the Twins this season? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

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82 Comments

I think they should put him in the bullpen and see what happens, for this year.

    • scottz, Twins33, Mike Frasier Law and 5 others like this

YES - Bullpen, starter - either way it helps.We have gotten rid of a lot of chaff in the BP, but we did not pick up anything to replace it (sorry Dyson - you are not my dream reliever) and we have Perez and Odorizzi spinning balls the wrong way in the rotation so bring him up!

    • SF Twins Fan likes this
To be honest, I'm very surprised by Antony's comments. Oh, I have complete faith/hope in this kid to be sure! He has an ELECTRIC arm and wicked stuff and only needs a little more consistency and better off speed to potentially be special. But still only 20 for a couple more weeks, even with a missed season, and already dominating at AA WHEN HEALTHY, I'm still surprised.

Most guys his age are in rookie or A ball. Even if they didn't miss a year!

I am all for aggressive promotion, even as I often preach patience at times. And this FO is so much more aggressive than the previous one. But no matter how talented, they could be considering a pitcher from his first season in AA coming off an injury to jump to the ML level to help this year?

Long term, would such a trial actually benefit his long term development? If he is at Pensacola in the next few days and dominates for the remainder of August I guess I could imagine it. He's added to the 40 man and is eligible and you could take a look-see. But I just don't see it, IMO.

If they are right, then not only are they geniuses, but whatever supplements they are on, whatever they eat or otherwise, I want to know so I can jump on board.
    • Mike Frasier Law and MN_ExPat like this
I want help. Pitching needs help. Francisco Liriano and Graterol are two different pitchers, but could have one thing in common; getting promoted straight from AA. I’m sick of baseball politics. Come the back end of the season, I want the best players to help you win on the field at all times. I don’t care about years of team control. I want to win. Especially with this offense that baseball hasn’t ever seen before. Rooker (when healthy), Kirilloff, Thorpe, Smeltz (keep using him), etc. Let’s go!!!
    • Mike Frasier Law, Oldgoat_MN, SF Twins Fan and 1 other like this
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Cooper Carlson
Aug 07 2019 09:23 PM

I'm betting $5 that Graterol makes a greater impact to this Twins bullpen than Sam Dyson. #KindaHotTakes

    • Mike Sixel, scottz, Mike Frasier Law and 3 others like this
Quite a plan when your brilliant FO has to rely on 20 year olds to win a pennant

Can Graterol throw strikes without throwing the ball down the middle? I, for one, think that's important. 

    • Twins33, spanman2, tarheeltwinsfan and 1 other like this

This is an approach the previous Twins regime didn't seem to utilize, so it is great to see it is in play now.Maximize the guys with truly special arms, get them in the MLB and let them pitch. 

 

Young velocity driven pitchers are an, if not the, hottest commodity in the mlb.98-100 mph is a rare and fragile thing that needs to be capitalized on.You can wait for that arm to hopefully fully develop secondary stuff or you can throw their prime at mlb hitters.

 

It is downright silly to bank on a move like this being successful however.This team needed to add a top level reliever and should have done it despite the cost.Romo was a nice move, Dyson was good in theory, even if both work out better than expected they severely lack a shut down RH.

    • SF Twins Fan likes this

Bring him up. A lot of fireballers have a short shelf life, might as well use 'em up at the Major League level. Sink or swim! 

    • cjj td and Tomj14 like this

Francisco Liriano and Graterol are two different pitchers, but could have one thing in common; getting promoted straight from AA.


Liriano had 14 starts at AAA before his first call-up.

Radke and Erickson skipped AAA, though.
    • USAFChief, Jerr, gil4 and 3 others like this

 

Quite a plan when your brilliant FO has to rely on 20 year olds to win a pennant

 

Yeah

 

21 would be better so he can have a drink after being relied upon. 

    • gil4, Mike Frasier Law, Dantes929 and 3 others like this
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yarnivek1972
Aug 08 2019 06:22 AM

Liriano had 14 starts at AAA before his first call-up.

Radke and Erickson skipped AAA, though.


Radke and Erickson skipping AAA had more to do with the dearth of MLB pitchers the Twins had in 1990 and 1995 then the expectation that those two would be special.

Kinda like now in a way.
    • nokomismod likes this

Quite a plan when your brilliant FO has to rely on 20 year olds to win a pennant


39 year old Nelson Cruz isn't helping?
    • Jerr, scottz, Mike Frasier Law and 3 others like this
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yarnivek1972
Aug 08 2019 06:52 AM

39 year old Nelson Cruz isn't helping?


I guess I don’t see the parallel of a guy with barely any pro experience to one with 20 years plus as a pro.
How’s the time to see what your prospects are made of. Do you wanna see Phil Hughes types blocking potential game changing pitchers just because they have so much money into them?

I sure as hell don’t.

I guess I don’t see the parallel of a guy with barely any pro experience to one with 20 years plus as a pro.


The poster claimed the Twins plan is to rely on a 20 year old to pursue the pennant.

Who do you think will have more impact on the 2019 record, Cruz or Graterol?

Or what about all the other contributors who aren't 20 years old? Are they factors in the pennant race?
    • howieramone2 likes this

 

Quite a plan when your brilliant FO has to rely on 20 year olds to win a pennant

Mets and Twins relied way more on Blyleven and Gooden to win pennants than these Twins. Who cares what age he is? When thinking of this team at the beginning of the year I was relying on him being a starter for the Twins by August. I have no problem relying on him to come in relief.  

    • 70charger, gbg and In My La-Z-boy like this
I don’t care if he is 14 years old. Can he hang zeroes?

Let’s find out.
    • Jerr, scottz, Dantes929 and 9 others like this

Radke and Erickson skipping AAA had more to do with the dearth of MLB pitchers the Twins had in 1990 and 1995 then the expectation that those two would be special.

Kinda like now in a way.


I suppose many MLB success stories have some part inspiration and some part desperation. The 1990 and 1995 teams certainly had some pitching weaknesses, but they also didn't have too much urgency to rush anyone -- neither club was contending. Same for 1998 and Eric Milton, also straight from AA.

When I think of true desperation, I think of Brad Thomas straight from AA in 2001, as part of a merry-go-round to find 1-2 acceptable starters in a contending season. This year's pitching promotions have felt a little different than that so far, thankfully!
    • MN_ExPat likes this

 

I'm betting $5 that Graterol makes a greater impact to this Twins bullpen than Sam Dyson. #KindaHotTakes

This reminds me of when I am golfing and say I am sick of bogies only to start making double and triple bogies.Dyson has already had a pretty big impact, just not the kind we wanted.I digress. From the point both are healthy and saying greater impact in a positive way, I would take that bet.Dyson has a two year history of being a really good reliever.  

    • howieramone2 likes this

 

Can Graterol throw strikes without throwing the ball down the middle? I, for one, think that's important. 

If you throw 100, it doesn't much matter where the ball comes across the strike zone. Location is overrated for a 1-inning guy; just don't walk guys and any trouble you get in will be minimal.

    • Mike Frasier Law likes this

 

This reminds me of when I am golfing and say I am sick of bogies only to start making double and triple bogies.Dyson has already had a pretty big impact, just not the kind we wanted.I digress. From the point both are healthy and saying greater impact in a positive way, I would take that bet.Dyson has a two year history of being a really good reliever.  

 

Dyson has an entire career history of being a good reliever sandwiched around 1 year, really a month long stretch, where he absolutely lost it.

    • Dantes929, kenbuddha and howieramone2 like this

 

Dyson has an entire career history of being a good reliever sandwiched around 1 year, really a month long stretch, where he absolutely lost it.

Dyson had two poor months with the Rangers to begin 2017 (April and May), and his time with the Giants that year was better but not really very impressive -- 4.03 ERA, 4.08 FIP, only 6.4 K/9. I'm comfortable saying his entire 2017 season was sub-par. (His 2015 with the Marlins was pretty mediocre too, especially considering his relatively low leverage use.)

 

But otherwise, you are correct -- Dyson had excellent, high-leverage seasons in 2015 after he left the Marlins, 2016, 2018, and 2019 (before coming to the Twins :( ). That's more like 3 seasons of really good performance.

    • Dantes929, MN_ExPat, twins1095 and 1 other like this

This reminds me of when I am golfing and say I am sick of bogies only to start making double and triple bogies. Dyson has already had a pretty big impact, just not the kind we wanted. I digress. From the point both are healthy and saying greater impact in a positive way, I would take that bet. Dyson has a two year history of being a really good reliever.


I was just having that golf talk with myself. Turned out the same....

I don't get the angst here at all. Plenty of young players are making impacts around the league. Pitchers get hurt, get them up when they are healthy and throwing hard. If the FO thinks they can help, who cares how old they are?
    • scottz, Dantes929, Major League Ready and 2 others like this

Pre-2014 - Minors

 

2014 - 2.14 era / 3.16 FIP

 

2015 - 2.63 ERA / 2.94 FIP

 

2016 - 2.43 ERA/ 3.6 FIP (3.45 xFIP)

 

2017 - 10.80 ERA in 16.2 innings / 4.03 ERA in 38 innings (ballooned by 3 bad outings in which he allowed 10 runs) he had a 2.95 ERA before allowing 5 runs in his last 2 outings of the season.  

 

2018 - 2.69 ERA /3.4 FIP

 

2019 (pre Twins) - 2.47 ERA in 51 innings

 

He's largely been really good and I'd bet that he will continue to be good.

    • Mike Frasier Law and SwainZag like this

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