With virtually every top prospect, the intrigue surrounds what they’ll become at the next level. Berrios was a wiry kid from Puerto Rico. He became a workout warrior known for posting videos of flipping tires and pulling cars during winters on the island. There was not a consensus view on what type of pitcher he’d slot in as in the big leagues, but it’s hard to say he’s been anything but a success story for the Twins.
He finishes his time in Minnesota having pitched 781 ⅓ innings across 136 games. His 4.08 ERA is weighed down by the 8.02 mark he put up during his rookie campaign, but he racked up 779 strikeouts and recorded 55 wins. Berrios pitched for some terrible Twins teams and some outstanding ones. He drew some huge Postseason starts, and his last turn against the Houston Astros in 2020 may have been his best.
During his Twins tenure Berrios made two All-Star teams and could’ve been in line for another had this season been more competitive. He’s shown Gold Glove-worthy fielding prowess, and he’s revamped that workout routine seen so often in tweets to sustain effectiveness and increase velocity. Jose has always been a humble human being, but he’s grown maturity wise as well handling interviews with increasing confidence. Both on and off the field, Berrios has embodied a consistent and commendable amount of transformation.
It’s hard to fault a player like Berrios for wanting to see that massive payday. He’ll enter free agency as one of the premier talents available, and pitching is always something that gets paid for. After playing through arbitration to this point, maximizing his value makes a lot of sense and is also an avenue the Twins may be right in avoiding.
Although Minnesota won’t see the end of Berrios’ team control, it’s hard not to look at the life cycle of this player as a big win for them. He was drafted, developed, performed at or above expectations, and now has become a transferable asset. The hope would be that Derek Falvey executes a move bringing back a pitching-laden haul to help the club compete in 2022 and beyond.
Maybe Berrios never became the ace that the Twins had hoped for, but he has been their number one starter for virtually the entirety of his time as an established big league veteran. Maybe there’s another step for him to unlock in the years ahead, and this is absolutely a guy that Twins fans can cheer for well beyond his time in the hometown threads.