Minnesota Twins top 2017 moments: Jose Berrios dominates early

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 18: Jose Berrios
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 18: Jose Berrios /

The Minnesota Twins had an incredible run to the playoffs in 2017. Let’s remember some of the best moments of the year!

The Minnesota Twins had an incredibly fun season to follow as a fan. To close out the calendar year of 2017, we will take a look back at some of the biggest moments of the season!

Our next moment came in mid-May as Jose Berrios re-introduced himself to Minnesota Twins fans:

Jose Berrios 2017 season

The Minnesota Twins have been patient in developing Jose Berrios’ arm since drafting him in the 1st round of the 2012 draft out of Puerto Rico. Ranked as high as the #17 prospect in all of baseball before the 2016 season, Berrios had a rough introduction to the major leagues, posting an 8.02 ERA and 1.87 WHIP over 14 starts to finish out 2016.

Berrios opened the 2017 season at AAA due to injury and a lack of time with the big league club as he spent much of spring training with the Puerto Rico WBC team. He made his season debut on May 13th at Cleveland, going 7 2/3 innings and allowing just one run, but his statement game was to come in his next start, a home game against Colorado.

The game

Due to weather, May 18th was a double-header with the Rockies. The Rockies took the first game of the double header 5-1 as the offense could put together 8 hits, but not group them together for runs to support Ervin Santana. That set up Berrios to start the night cap for his second start of the season.

Berrios had a touch of shakiness in the first inning as Charlie Blackmon took him very deep for a fly ball out to right field and a ball got away from him and plunked Nolan Arenado. However, he was able to get two strikeouts in the inning and get out of the first facing just four hitters.

The second inning was another flash of the shakiness along with dominance. He hit Ian Desmond with a pitch and then balked Desmond over to second base, but he again struck out two in the frame and faced just four hitters.

From there, Berrios was in a rhythm, facing the minimum in the 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th. In the 7th inning, Carlos Gonzalez hit a single up the middle, but he was stranded there.

More from Puckett's Pond

In the 8th inning, Berrios struck out Raimel Tapia on 4 pitches to open the inning. He then got Pat Valaika to pop out to Brian Dozier, using just six pitches to get the two quick outs.

Tony Wolters pinch hit for Ryan Hanigan and drew Berrios’ first walk of the day. He was pulled at that time in favor of a left-handed reliever to face Blackmon.

Berrios’ line on the day was tremendous: 7 2/3 innings, no runs, 2 hits, 1 walk, 11 strikeouts, 2 hit by pitch. He threw 106 pitches, 72 of them for strikes.

In his first two starts, Berrios had thrown 15 1/3 innings, with a 0.59 ERA, 0.39 WHIP, and a 2/15 BB/K ratio. He had certainly shown that he was on the way to becoming the staff ace that Minnesota Twins fans had hoped for since he was a prospect.

Next: How offseason deals affect the Twins' plans

Berrios would have some ups and downs through the season, finishing with a 3.89 ERA over 145 2/3 innings, with a 1.23 WHIP along with a 7.8% walk rate and a 22.6% strikeout rate. He is certainly set to be at the front of the Twins rotation for a long time to come.