How Soon Could Top Prospect Brusdar Graterol Debut?
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…”
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