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Max Kepler: Trade or Keep?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 12:51 PM
Kepler was a popular trade piece in our hypothetical offers to acquire better talent over the last year or so. People in the industry lik...

Article: Twins Daily Roundtable: Biggest Off-Season Need

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 12:39 PM
Twins Daily Roundtable is a weekly series. As part of this series, a question will be posed to the site’s writers and they will respond i...

Each MLB team's best rookie in 2018

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 12:24 PM
I see no less than 3 former Twin farmhands listed as top rookies (perhaps there are more) in 2018 - Niko Goodrum, Daniel Palka, and Derec...

Twins stuff from around the Web (Fangraphs, Twitter, Athl...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 12:15 PM
Per request.....new thread! this seems like a really odd post to start with, which makes sense for a thread about the Twins and Internet....

Luis Arraez - 2018

Adopt A Prospect 2018 Today, 11:44 AM
Luis Sangel Arraez Born San Felipe, Venezuela 4/9/97 (20) Signed Nov. 5th 2013  2nd Basemen Bat: L Throw: R Ht: 5' 10" W...

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Berrios Beaming for Minnesota

Posted by Ted Schwerzler , 19 June 2018 · 969 views

minnesota twins jose berrios
Thus far in 2018, there's been lots of talk surrounding the Minnesota Twins. Paul Molitor's club has provided talking points relating to everything from their up-and-down record, Miguel Sano's slide, and the emergence of guys like Eddie Rosario and Kyle Gibson. Virtually under the radar, Jose Berrios is beginning to round out into a bonafide ace. The crazy thing is, next to no one is talking about it.

A year ago, Berrios owned a 3.89 ERA and put up a 14-8 record across 25 starts (26 games) for the Twins. In 2018, the young Puerto Rican would start on the Opening Day roster for the first time in his career. He's made 14 starts on the season, and has quickly become must watch baseball. Whether going up against an ace or a 5th starter on the other side, the Twins hurler now has a brand of his own.

Through just under 90 innings this season, Berrios has posted a 3.51 ERA. His 9.1 K/9 is indicative of the strikeout stuff that was always expected of him, and he's cut his walk rate down to a truly impressive 1.5 BB/9 mark. With two complete games, one being a shutout, under his belt already, it's hard to quantify this season as anything but his best yet. What's exciting for both Berrios and the Twins, is that we've likely only scratched the surface.

Just recently turning 24 years old, Berrios has just under 300 big league innings to his credit. This season, he's posting career bests across the board, and his 3.33 FIP along with a 0.948 WHIP suggest that there's room for him to be even better. Efficiency has been something he's struggled with in the past, but working two complete tilts already has displayed a further amount of maturity. Walks have also been something Berrios has been plagued by in his early career, but they've become a point of emphasis in 2018, and an avenue of growth that's been significantly exploited.

Diving into his arsenal and surrounding numbers, Berrios' output provides one of the biggest areas for excitement. He's still throwing with the same velocity, and his usage rates across all pitches remains nearly identical to career norms. The results have equated to a career best 11.8% swinging strike rate, and a 35.9% chase rate. His 76.4% contact rate is a career low, and he's still keeping hard hit rates in check. As a summary Berrios really isn't doing anything different with his offerings, but with everything being a bit sharper the results have only continued on an upward trajectory.

The main knock on Jose has always been his stature. Whether or not he would have enough of a downward plane on his fastball to keep it in the park has been a realistic concern. The 1.1 HR/9 mark is a slight increase from a season ago, but it's hardly the 1.9 tally from his big league debut season. Even if there's not much movement made off of that mark, it's hardly a death sentence given the complete formula.

Berrios never got the national love of being an ace, and most projected him as a solid #2 starter. Topping out at 17th on the Baseball Prospectus to prospect list, he saw plenty of fanfare, but not quite enough to put him in elite territory. We don't yet know how this will all play out, but there's little reason to put a ceiling on him anymore. You'll struggle to find anyone willing to outwork the young man, and his abilities are shooting upwards each time he toes the rubber.

Forever, the Twins have needed to develop an impact arm that can shoulder the load of being the guy in the starting rotation. Right now, we're seeing Berrios become not just a premier pitcher for the Twins, but among the best in baseball.

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theBOMisthebomb
Jun 20 2018 05:13 AM
Maybe it is the feeling of being worn down by the mediocrity of 2018 so far.. It just seems we jump the gun on our guys and want to label them ace or franchise guy or all-star or whatever just before they truly make that leap... and then they flop or regress. Hoping that doesn't happen with Berrios and he truly grows into a consistent ace for many years.

 

Maybe it is the feeling of being worn down by the mediocrity of 2018 so far.. It just seems we jump the gun on our guys and want to label them ace or franchise guy or all-star or whatever just before they truly make that leap... and then they flop or regress. Hoping that doesn't happen with Berrios and he truly grows into a consistent ace for many years.

 

I had the same feeling about jumping the gun this season after Berrios started by blanking the O's and having two other starts where he gave up 0 runs. The only blemish at that point was the record cold start temp game, which I don't think anyone was going to hold against him.After the Puerto Rico series, he went to New York, got squeezed and didn't handle it well at all.That carried over to the Reds game where he didn't have command and resulted in probably his worst start so far (especially given the opponent).He got back on track a couple starts later against St. Louis and has been very consistent since.He has run into some trouble the last two times out, but I think he learned from that bad stretch starting with the Yankees game not to get overly amped when he gets squeezed or doesn't have his best stuff or pinpoint command.He's pitched out of lots of jams against Detroit and Boston, and he's really been a bulldog in those two games.That's where I think the growth and path to being an ace is going to come. It looks like he'll get the ball 5 more times before the All Star break, and four of those are at home against bad teams.A late run to the All Star staff is definitely within reach. I wouldn't care if he didn't pitch though, because I'd like to see him be the #1 coming out of the break. I'm guessing La Maquina would want to do both.