Jose Berrios' slight adjustments have had big payoffs, as 23-year-old thrives in Minnesota's rotation.
Stop me if you’ve heard this before.
Jose Berrios entered 2017 with his career arc somewhat in doubt. Formerly a top prospect, he’d struggled—no, he had outright failed—in his first extended look in the majors, and despite his youth and his raw stuff, even his most enthusiastic supporters were forced to admit that big changes were needed if he was going to turn himself into a valuable big-league hurler.
Not a prospect, but not a post-hype sleeper? We've found you a home.
As prospect writers, once a player gets 130 at-bats, 50 innings, or 45 pre-September active roster days, he more or less ceases to exist to us. Those numbers are completely arbitrary and capricious. They’re the standards for Rookie of the Year eligibility, and they sort of make sense for that award. For simplicity and ease, we use them too, and most of the time they work.
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Notes on Miguel Diaz, Joe Musgrove, Dalton Pompey, and more.
Miguel Diaz, RHP, Milwaukee Brewers (Low-A Wisconsin)
Signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2011 for $85,000, Diaz has steadily climbed the developmental ladder and has done nothing but impress. Throwing from a high-three-quarters slot, Diaz uses a slight twist at max leg lift to start his coil. He possesses a lightning-fast arm that gets through a small circle in the back of his motion and gets out front well. At times he will post his front leg which prevents him from finishing with authority.
Diaz’s fastball is electric, sitting 92-95 and touching 97 when needed. In this outing, he started off slowly in the 92-94 range with slightly below-average command to both sides of the plate. Once he started getting in trouble the big-time velocity made its appearance, blowing several hitters away at the top of the zone with 97 mph heaters. It comes out easy and gets on hitters quickly.
The cavalry has arrived for an ailing Twins staff...is it too late?
The Situation: With the wheels falling off the proverbial bus that is the Twins’ rotation, Minnesota has turned to their prized arm, Jose Berrios, to save the day. After a back issue derailed Ervin Santana, Tyler Duffey, called up to replace him, caught a comebacker on the shoulder and is day-to-day. The 21-year-old Berrios will likely slide into this spot in the rotation for now, but struggling pitchers Tommy Milone and Kyle Gibson appear to be the likely candidates to be bumped once Santana returns. Berrios’ call-up coincides nicely with a shuffle of young talent between Triple-A and the majors and the passing of his service-time issues, but there is apparent need for reinforcements as the Twins attempt to turn around their horrid start to the season.
The Twins' pitching has cratered, and maybe it should have.
It was a Baseball Prospectus co-founder, Gary Huckabay, who coined the truism: There Is No Such Thing as a Pitching Prospect. Years and years after Huckabay first posited that, though, two of his fellow BP alumni proposed a modification that, while even more radical, rings truer every day we get older.
Notes on every single player from the World roster
Ketel Marte, SS, Seattle Mariners – Marte had a solid if unspectacular showing during BP, spraying line drives and showing off the quick wrists that give him a chance for a plus hit tool when all is said and done. He picked up hits from both the left and right side of the plate, but unfortunately was thrown out twice; once on a caught stealing and once on a quality throw frome Michael Conforto. The upside doesn’t match some other names here, but he should be a starting middle-infielder someday, more than likely at second base.
Notes on prospects who stood out yesterday, including Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant and Twins righty Jose Berrios.
Hitter of the Night: Kris Bryant, 3B, Cubs (Tennessee, AA): 3-4, 4 R, 2B, 2 HR, BB, K. Remember when there were teams that had fellow college third baseman Colin Moran rated ahead of Bryant on their draft boards? The next time you want to berate the Cubs for their decision-making, let’s remember the one they most definitely got correct.
Pitcher of the Night: Jose Berrios, RHP, Twins (Fort Myers, A+): 5 IP, H, 0 R, 4 BB, 7 K.
Berrios still has a ways to go with his fastball command, but the life on it is electric, and he’s pairing it with a plus changeup that was dominant on this night.