Minnesota Twins: 5 Things that need to go right for 2018 success
Jose Berrios becomes an Ace
It is no secret that the Twins have been starving for an ace pitcher ever since Johan Santana was traded prior to the 2008 season. In the middle of the Twins carrying the pitch-to-contact moniker, Santana was the one pitcher who could just go out and strike batters out on the way to a win. Ever since he was drafted, Jose Berrios has been the hope for the next strikeout slinging ace for the Twins staff.
After struggling through his debut in 2016 and posting an 8.02 ERA in 58.1 innings, Berrios came into 2017 and pitched to better results. The Twins took their time bringing the young hurler into the 2017 rotation wanting to be absolutely certain he was ready to make the jump. All Berrios did was continue to dominate Triple-A batters until finally on May 13th he was able to make his 2017 debut.
Last season Berrios logged 145.2 innings, went 14-8 in 25 starts, held a 3.89 ERA, and an 8.6 K/9. Berrios was able to improve his home run rate considerably from 1.85 HR/9 in 2016 to 0.93 last season. That is something that will prove to be an important part of Berrios game going forward as his pitches tend to produce a lot of fly balls in general.
Berrios clearly has the best stuff on Twins staff. For the Twins to make a run to the World Series they need Berrios to take another step forward in 2018. It is certainly his year to take the title of staff ace away from Santana. Berrios as an actual ace will help catapult the Twins from Wild Card team to World Series champion.