The Minnesota Twins just announced that they would be promoting professional pitcher Jose Berrios to the Majors, which has America asking who he is. He’s been highly praised as a professional pitcher since he was first drafted by the Twins from Puerto Rico in 2012, but he’s only played in the minor leagues since then, and his identity remains somewhat of a mystery.
It’s true that Minnesota is currently tied for the worst record in the American League at 6-14, but Berrios has managed to stand out above that. With him in the starting rotation, the Twins are looking at an above average production for their rotation.
Ted Schwerzler, spokesperson for the Twins, reported on Twitter that Jose would be scheduled to start Wednesday’s home game for the Minnesota Twins. He’ll be up against the Cleveland Indians and will be taking the place of Kyle Gibson, who has been performing below average since the start of the season.
So, just who is Jose Berrios? He was drafted onto the Twins’ team during the 2012 MLB June Amateur Draft. At the time, he was just barely 18-years-old and living in Bayamon, Puerto Rico. He went to Papa Juan High School there and acted as their star baseball pitcher, attracting attention from recruiters all over the world.
Since his time in the amateur MLB, he’s transitioned between several teams, including the Minnesota Twins, Cedar Rapids Kernels, Fort Myers Miracle, Rochester Red Wings, and Chattanooga Lookouts. He’s now making his way back to Minnesota to play in the big leagues after poor performance from some of the Twins’ starting players.
Amidst his time with American teams, Jose was given the opportunity to play for the Puerto Rican National Team in the 2013 World Baseball Classic in 2013, which occurred during the same time period that he was playing for the Cedar Rapids Kernels. In addition, he was offered a chance to play in the All-Star Futures Game in July.
Berrios isn’t what you’d consider a standout among all the other players in the MLB, but his past involvement in worldwide games and his promotion to higher levels speaks to his growing talent and good character.
Berrios has also been ranked as the 16th best prospect in the game according to MLB.com. He’s a young recruit, but he’s quickly rising in the ranks. At 21-years-old, he’s got his entire career ahead of him, and it may be his actions that save the Minnesota Twins.
Minnesota has lost 11 of their first 16 games this year, a major letdown since last year’s high season. They’re currently in the middle of the pack with a poor outlook for future performance. With some of their major players losing steam, what the Twins need now is a true ace who can help to electrify the team and move them forward towards victory.
Jose Berrios may be that ace. He’s only 21, but he’s already struck out 20 batters in just the first three games he started, playing a total of 17 innings. During the same timeframe, he only allowed eight hits, which is impressive for a rookie of his age and rank.
His fastball can move upwards of 96 miles per hour, and his curveball has been described as a force to be reckoned with. He also seems to have the poise and control over his position that Gibson and some of Jose’s other predecessors were missing.
Thankfully for the Twins, they’re only 20 days into the 2016 season, which means they have an opportunity to turn things around. They’ve lost some traction in the leagues already, but by calling Berrios up to the major leagues, they have an opportunity to gain some control over a currently dwindling situation.
Berrios has already won minor league pitcher of the year twice in his four short years playing in professional baseball. Despite concerns that the Minnesota Twins wouldn’t be calling Jose Berrios into the big leagues, he’s now set to join their 40-man roster, just in time to make a big turnaround for the team.
[Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images]