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JO Berrios vs Pedro Martinez

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#1 mk

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 12:11 PM

First I want to write that I realize Pedro Martinez is one of the best pitchers of all time who put up video game-type numbers in an era of offensive explosion and will no doubt be elected in his first year of Hall of Fame eligibiltiy to rightfully join the likes of Cy Young, Walter Johnson, Tom Seaver, Bob Gibson, et al., among the inner circle of all-time pitchers.

I also know that JO Berrios is not anywhere near shouting distance of any conversation for the Hall of Fame.

But, I did compare stats from the 18-year old seasons for Martinez and Berrios. Same level of competition, same physical-type build, born about 23 years and 250 miles apart in the Caribbean.

Berrios: 30.2 IP, 1.17 ERA, 49K, 4BB, .620 WHIP
Martinez: 77 IP, 3.62 ERA, 82K, 40BB, 1.481 WHIP

By the numbers, it appears Berrios compares favorably (albeit with less than half as many innings pitched). What I want to know is what made Pedro Martinez develop into the pitcher he was. Did the "experts" dream about the potential he had when he was 18 years old putting up numbers in Rookie ball? What was his pitch repertoire? What did his fastball average? Is there a web site somewhere that archives scouting reports that would help us common folk compare current prospects to past Major Leaguers? Does the JO Berrios current scouting report compare with any scouting report written 23 years ago about Pedro Martinez?

I also want to say that I researched stats for the 22 year old seasons for Kevin Slowey and Justin Verlander. Both at high A and AA.

Slowey: 148.2 IP, 1.88 ERA, 151K, 22BB, .834 WHIP
Verlander: 118IP, 1.29 ERA, 136K, 26BB, .902 WHIP

I think we all know who the better MLB pitcher is. I just wanted to inlcude that info so people know that I also realize that a MLB career is not based off of minor league numbers.

#2 mk

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 10:09 AM

I also want to ask another question. If JO Berrios puts up numbers in his 19 year old season comparable to the numbers Pedro Martinez put up in his 19 year old season, will Berrios be pitching at AAA by the end of the year like the 19 year old Martinez?

#3 mnfanforlife

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 10:21 AM

I also want to ask another question. If JO Berrios puts up numbers in his 19 year old season comparable to the numbers Pedro Martinez put up in his 19 year old season, will Berrios be pitching at AAA by the end of the year like the 19 year old Martinez?


No chance. Berrios will probably finish the 2013 season in Cedar Rapids. If he dominates the Midwest league early, he MIGHT get to pitch in the FSL.

#4 mk

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 09:15 AM

No chance. Berrios will probably finish the 2013 season in Cedar Rapids. If he dominates the Midwest league early, he MIGHT get to pitch in the FSL.


That's the reaction I predicted. Maybe I should have asked my question differently. If JO puts up the same type numbers, SHOULD he be pitching at AAA by the end of the year?

My argument would be, how do you argue with the successful blueprint the Dodgers put together with Pedro. I assume Pedro had a PLUS fastball when he was 19, but where were his secondary pitches? I suppose it comes down to makeup and stuff to determine if a prospect is ready. But, throwing hard and throwing strikes looks like a good start, right?

#5 mnfanforlife

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 09:47 AM

That's the reaction I predicted. Maybe I should have asked my question differently. If JO puts up the same type numbers, SHOULD he be pitching at AAA by the end of the year?

My argument would be, how do you argue with the successful blueprint the Dodgers put together with Pedro. I assume Pedro had a PLUS fastball when he was 19, but where were his secondary pitches? I suppose it comes down to makeup and stuff to determine if a prospect is ready. But, throwing hard and throwing strikes looks like a good start, right?


Pedro was wild as a young pro, and had a reputation as a head-hunter. But his fastball and secondary stuff (even his change-up) had sharp movement. He fine-tuned his control more each year, and was untouchable for a good portion of his career.

Agreed about Berrios. He probably SHOULD skip AA or A+ if he dominates in similar fashion at the low-A or A+ level. But he won't pitch in AAA this year. Maybe not until he turns 21 or 22.

#6 gil4

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 11:04 AM

But, throwing hard and throwing strikes looks like a good start, right?



Throwing hard and throwing strikes is a great start. Throwing more than 30 innings in the low minors would be an even better start. We just don't know enough about Berrios to make any kind of projection yet, and there are probably a dozen guys every year who look great in Rookie ball, and most never make it past AA. We should see if we can get him past low-A before we worry about promoting him to AAA this year.

#7 darin617

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 09:47 PM

In this organization if he continued to dominate he should reach AAA Rochester by 2016 or so.

#8 darin617

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 09:49 PM

You gotta love the Slowey Verlander comparison. I guess Slowey just needed a better pitching coach at the major league level to continue his success.

#9 drjim

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 11:08 AM

Perhaps it is time to stop looking so closely at minor league numbers.
Papers...business papers.

#10 mnfanforlife

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 11:17 AM

Yes, I have trouble comparing stats to past stars. But I can see the similarities in body type and "stuff" between JO and Pedro. Has nothing to do with stats. When comparing Slowey and Verlander, thier body-types are not even comparable. And the "stuff" is so different that they are a poor comparison overall.

#11 old nurse

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 11:33 AM

You gotta love the Slowey Verlander comparison. I guess Slowey just needed a better pitching coach at the major league level to continue his success.

A 95 rather than an 88 for a fastball might account for the difference in their careers. I wish there was a coach who knew how to get that sped out of a pitcher.
Maybe Verlander's catcher frames pitches better so he gets more strikeouts

Edited by old nurse, 26 January 2013 - 11:35 AM.


#12 Badsmerf

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 07:57 PM

I don't see any reason the Twins have to hold him back... yet. Maybe they will find something, but the Twins really haven't had many prospects to promote aggressively. In reality, they haven't had any high ceiling pitchers in the org since Garza... and rocketed through the system. Garza was also a college pitcher and the Twins tend to promote college players more freely. I don't think the Twins are going to be compelled to rush him through the system to contribute to a playoff team.
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#13 Thrylos

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 08:32 PM

Little known fact about Pedro: His breakthrough season was 1997 with the Expos when he had the most strikeouts a season by a RHP since Walter Johnson. He contributes his success to his new found change up. The guy who taught him that change up is the same guy who taught Randy Johnson and Johan Santana theirs: New Twins' bullpen coach Bobby Cuellar. He was the Expos Pitching Coach then. All three pitchers mentioned here have publicly said that they would not be where they are without Cuellar.

I will withhold judgement on Berrios until after I see him this Spring Training.

As far as Slowey goes (btw, new Miami Marlin), a better comparable is Greg Maddux :)
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#14 gil4

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 11:55 PM

Little known fact about Pedro: His breakthrough season was 1997 with the Expos when he had the most strikeouts a season by a RHP since Walter Johnson.


Forgot Nolan Ryan

#15 Celebrity Weddings!

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 07:21 PM

Forgot Nolan Ryan


Several times. And Mike Scott and J.R. Richard.

#16 mk

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 09:01 AM

Little known fact about Pedro: His breakthrough season was 1997 with the Expos when he had the most strikeouts a season by a RHP since Walter Johnson. He contributes his success to his new found change up. The guy who taught him that change up is the same guy who taught Randy Johnson and Johan Santana theirs: New Twins' bullpen coach Bobby Cuellar. He was the Expos Pitching Coach then. All three pitchers mentioned here have publicly said that they would not be where they are without Cuellar.

I will withhold judgement on Berrios until after I see him this Spring Training.

As far as Slowey goes (btw, new Miami Marlin), a better comparable is Greg Maddux :)


That's exciting about Cuellar and the chage up. I wish Berrios (and everyone else within the Twins system) could have a change up like Pedro/Johan.

As far as Slowey goes, I used Verlander as an example of a similar age college pitcher (Maddux skipped college). And, I only brought Slowey/Verlander into the conversation to illustrate that stats are only part of an evaluation. Obviously there's nothing else to compare between them besides great numbers in the low minors.

My question would be, are there other similarities at age 19 between JO and Pedro besides RK league stats, physical build, and a good fastball? What did the RK level scouting report say about Pedro and does the RK level scouting report on JO say the same things?

#17 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 02:37 PM

Comparing minor leaguers after a half season in rookie ball not going to give you any reasonable comps, and the numbers aren't even similar. Once berrios has a body of minor league work, you can start comparing him and projecting him...

that said, I seem to remember seeing/reading somewhere that part of Pedro's success was that he had some sort of hand deformity that actually worked to make him a better pitcher... perhaps I'm wrong there....


As for Slowey, people tend to forget that Slowey was looking to be a pretty decent pitcher until he got hit by that liner. He was in the middle of a break out season and had his ERA under 4 prior to that event... I'm not sure Verlander was ever a good comp, but people were comparing him to Halladay at the time. He was also never the same after that. Perhaps he was just lucky, that's entirely possible, but I tend to think that his pitching woes had little to do with his pitching coatch and everything to do with the fact that he wasn't the same after that injury.

#18 mk

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 09:06 AM

Is it still too early to compare minor league numbers? Granted it's unfair to compare anyone to the career of Pedro Martinez, but...

Also, question, does anyone have an opinion on the difference between Berrios this year vs. last year. Not that last year wasn't any good, but this year is superb. My stat sheet scouting says strike outs are up and walks are down. Did he learn to control the Cuellar change up?

#19 tobi0040

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 09:19 AM

Is it still too early to compare minor league numbers? Granted it's unfair to compare anyone to the career of Pedro Martinez, but...

Also, question, does anyone have an opinion on the difference between Berrios this year vs. last year. Not that last year wasn't any good, but this year is superb. My stat sheet scouting says strike outs are up and walks are down. Did he learn to control the Cuellar change up?


This is a difficult game. Pedro had sick movement on many of his pitches. I have not heard anyone say Berrios has great movement.

Pedro's MLB numbers were at 10.0 K per 9 and a SO to BB ratio of 4.13. Berrios matched the K per 9 number and Pedro's MLB SO to BB ratio of 4.13 is higher than Berrios's 3.85, in rookie league and low A.

I am high on Berrios, but comparing guys can be difficult and Pedro would obviously be the most extreme outlier of 6 feet tall pitchers.