Baxendale and Berrios: Two Intriguing Twins Pitchers from the 2012 Draft

D.J. Baxendale - Bruce Thorson-US PRESSWIRE

Here are a couple of rough-draft comments from the 2013 Baseball Prospect Book. We are now taking pre-orders for shipping on February 1st, 2013.

D.J. Baxendale, RHP, Minnesota Twins

SLEEPER ALERT! University of Arkansas right-hander D.J. Baxendale was expected to be a second or third round pick entering 2012, but got off to a poor start for the Razorbacks, losing some ticks off his fastball for no apparent reason. He pitched better late in the spring and still finished with a decent set of statistics, but the damage to his reputation was done and he fell to the 10th round. Baxendale was too good for the Appalachian and Midwest Leagues, and now looks like a nice sleeper prospect. At his best, Baxendale mixes an 88-92 MPH fastball with an impressive curveball and changeup, showing sharp command and superior pitching instincts. His arsenal is diverse enough for him to start, at least in the minors. He could move quickly through the system. Grade C+.

Jose Berrios, RHP, Minnesota Twins

I love this guy. Jose Berrios is one of my favorites from the 2012 draft. Drafted in the supplemental first round, 32nd overall, from high school in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, Berrios started off in the bullpen in the Gulf Coast League and dominated. He moved into the rotation and dominated. Then he was promoted to the Appalachian League and dominated. Practically unhittable for low-level batters, he showed off a 92-95 MPH fastball and was clocked as high as 97-98 as an amateur. He locates the heater well but it has good movement, too. His primary breaking ball is variously described as a hard curve or slider, but rates as a plus pitch either way. He shows a better changeup than most 18-year-olds, and he's experimented with both a cutter and a soft curve. His command was superb in pro ball. Although smaller than the prototypical right-handed pitcher, Berrios is put together very well, athletic and strong. Some people have projected him as a reliever based on his size, but his arsenal is plenty diverse, he throws strikes, and repeats his mechanics well. He can start. Very strong Grade B, and that might look too low a year from now.

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