Future Ace: Jose Berrios
One of the top-rated pitching prospects in all of baseball the last few years, Berrios was a top-20 overall prospect coming into the 2016 season, though after an impressive half-season with Rochester, Berrios had significant struggles in the major leagues, posting a 2.51 ERA and 0.99 WHIP over 111 1/3 innings with a 36/125 BB/K ratio in the minor leagues, but then seeing that balloon to 58 1/3 innings of an 8.02 ERA, 1.87 WHIP, and 35/49 BB/K ratio at the major league level in 2016.
In 2017, the Twins had Berrios open the season with Rochester, where he simply blew away the competition, posting a 1.13 ERA, 0.81 WHIP, and a 8/39 BB/K ratio over 39 2/3 innings in 8 starts. Berrios was recalled to the major leagues on May 13th.
Berrios had what should have been a rough introduction back to the major leagues, facing two 2017 playoff teams in his first two starts, both with a highly rated offense. In 2017, the Colorado Rockies ranked 3rd in runs scored, and the Cleveland Indians ranked 6th in runs scored in the entire league. However, Berrios introduced himself back to the league with an exclamation point, going 15 1/3 innings between the two starts, allowing just one earned run with a 2/15 BB/K ratio.
Berrios did struggle some down the stretch as he seemed to tire, losing the snap on his breaking pitch and a tick of velocity. Berrios’ curveball is one of the most impressive pitches in the major leagues in its movement.
Overall, Berrios posted a 14-8 record over 26 games, 25 of them starts, throwing 145 2/3 innings with a 3.89 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, and a 48/139 BB/K ratio. He showed some brilliance and also had some moments of difficulty on the mound, but he showed enough that Twins fans should be very, very excited about his future.