No. 3– Jose Berrios
It is hardly a secret that the Twins have been in search of an ace ever since they traded away Johan Santana. Now we may not be ready to fully crown Jose Berrios as ace of the Twins starting rotation, but he has certainly taken some significant steps in that direction in 2018.
Last season we were given glimpses of an absolutely dominant Berrios, but there were still moments where he wasn’t fully there. This season we have been able to see that Berrios a little more consistently. In 14 starts Berrios has a 3.51 ERA, 9.1 K/9, two complete games including his 2018 opening shutout against the Baltimore Orioles.
While Berrios has had some really amazing flashes. For instance he has topped 10 strikeouts in a game three times this season. He has also had some duds. Including a four start stretch where he gave up five, four, four, and five earned runs in those starts from April 24th to May 10th.
Something that has been very positive for Berrios is that he has cut down on his walks. As a strikeout pitcher one of the worries will always be Berrios’ ability to pitch deep into games. He has cut his BB/9 down from 2.97 in 2017 to 1.51 so far this season. That combined with a K/9 that we mentioned earlier that is at his career high puts his K/BB rate at 6.07 this season. Cutting down on walks as a hopeful career trend will help him get out of innings quicker.
It may honestly be tough for Berrios to make his way into he All-Star game, but he has put a good foot forward to impressing Twins fans and the rest of the league. His performance should at least result in his name being thrown around a bit in the conversation for the staff that represents the American League.