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Florida Instuctional League Game 9/28/13 and Q&A with Jose Berrios

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#1 Bob Sacamento

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 10:48 AM

On Saturday 9/28/13, the Twins FIL squad took to the field at 9am for warmups/stretching before their game at the Hammond Complex against the Boston Red Sox at 10am. Upon gametime, the two teams threw a curveball and decided to play two games at once which is great in theory but not if you want to watch every pitch.

The two squads were broken up into the players level of advancement. Game A featured a big name matchup of the Red Sox (2013 7th overall pick) Trey Ball and the Twins Jose Berrios (2012 32nd overall pick). Both pitched three innings and showed flashes of why their organizations consider them as key pieces in their pitching future. Berrios was hitting the gun 89-91mph maxing out at 94 mph. Offspeed wise, Jose was throwing a good changeup 78-82 mph and what appeared to be a curve and a slider, more on that later.

Jorge Fernandez, Jose's best friend on the roster, caught for him and did a good job of blocking as Berrios was pounding the zone low which allowed Jose to rack up six strikeouts. Offensively, Kennys Vargas is a beast (as well as being one of the nicest guys, he has great power and showed that with a monster homerun off a Trey Ball hanger. Levi Michael made a couple of plays up the middle look pedestrian when they weren't. Byron Buxton made an appearance at camp and said he'll be there til the 2nd of October when he'll be accompanied by Kepler, Rosario and Meyer to head down to Arizona for the Fall League.

In Game B, Lewis Thorpe started for the Twins and looked good. I honestly didn't watch him that close but little I did see he was throwing mainly fastballs around 88-90mph but it looked like it was faster due to his delivery. His changeup was 78-80mph and made a couple of the BoSox hitters look horrible.

Game A finished about a half hour before Game B so all of the players sit on the steel bleachers. After Jose finished pitching he came back to the bleachers and I got the chance to talk to him and his family as much as one could due to the language barrier. Berrios' english is not his strong suit but luckily I know enough of spanish to put together a conversation. According to Jose, the biggest parts of his game that he is working on is his changeup and continued arm strength. He said at the end of the season he got tired quicker and the team wants to build up his arm for more work next year. Berrios also says he is working on locating his fastball better in the zone. All of which seems to be a trend in Twins Instructional Camp: working on the changeup, working on keeping the ball low in the zone, and building arm strength. As far as his offspeed pitch, he said it was a curveball not a slider but it registered between 77-81 mph and had different breaks (a few big benders and a few hard snaps) at different points. Part of this seems to be how he holds the ball and how he releases it; which he gladly showed. Jose is a great kid, nice to everyone and really easy to root for.

Side note, Kohl Stewart is still a tool.

Edited by Bob Sacamento, 30 September 2013 - 02:30 PM.


#2 Seth Stohs

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 10:57 AM

Side note, Kohl Stewart is still a tool.


He's certainly not a typical Twins guy, which should make many happy. He's got an edge, very confident, bordering on arrogant... The Twins were very aware of that, but his talent is what it is.

I'm assuming that Jorge Fernandez (not Rodriguez) is who was catching Berrios?

Great report as always!

#3 Badsmerf

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 11:24 AM

Side note, Kohl Stewart is still a tool.


Really? I never read any negative things about him. Will you expand on this at all for us? I was a huge fan of his selection.
Do or do not. There is no try.

#4 gunnarthor

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 11:33 AM

Really? I never read any negative things about him. Will you expand on this at all for us? I was a huge fan of his selection.


Agreed. I'd like to know more, too.

#5 Bob Sacamento

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 12:30 PM

He's certainly not a typical Twins guy, which should make many happy. He's got an edge, very confident, bordering on arrogant... The Twins were very aware of that, but his talent is what it is.

I'm assuming that Jorge Fernandez (not Rodriguez) is who was catching Berrios?

Great report as always!

You are definitely right, he's nothing like the majority of the Twins players especially pitchers. He is very cocky and knows that he was a top 5 pick. I'm willing to bet the Twins brass starts hammering on him next year because it really seems that the organization doesn't tolerate the "me-first" kind of guys. But having seen him throw in GCL, he's got the multi-million dollar arm.

Really? I never read any negative things about him. Will you expand on this at all for us? I was a huge fan of his selection.

Don't worry he's got an excellent arsenal to make it as a front line starter so still be a huge fan of his selection. Personality and attitude are the negative marks that he gets, not just from me but from teammates (GCL and FIL). He's very brash and has no problem in showing you or telling you.

#6 amjgt

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 02:14 PM

Byron Buxton made an appearance at camp and said he'll be there til the 2nd of October when he'll be accompanied by Sano, Rosario and Meyer to head down to Arizona for the Fall League.


Sano?

Did I miss something?

#7 Bob Sacamento

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 02:31 PM

Sano?

Did I miss something?

No you didn't, I'm just used to writing Sano, Rosario

#8 Shane Wahl

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 02:40 PM

Dear God there was never a more important day for something else interesting and good . . . .

#9 Shane Wahl

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Posted 30 September 2013 - 09:50 PM

Bumping this for something not depressing to read. Good tidbits on Berrios and Thorpe.

#10 ScottyB

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 01:32 PM

Why do I get a bad feeling that Stewart's going to be traded to the Rays for Delmon Young.