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Minor League Prospect Note: Jose Berrios, RHP, Minnesota Twins

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Minor League Prospect Note: Jose Berrios, RHP, Minnesota Twins

One of my favorite pitchers from the 2012 draft is Jose Berrios (sometimes referred to as J.O. Berrios), a high school pitcher from Puerto Rico drafted in the supplemental first round by the Minnesota Twins. Berrios has been outstanding in pro ball. He threw five shutout innings for Elizabethton in the Appalachian League on Friday, allowing two hits, walking nobody, while fanning 11.

Overall, in 25.2 innings split between Elizabethton and the Gulf Coast League, Berrios has allowed two runs (0.70 ERA), just 10 hits, only four walks, while fanning 43. That's right, 43/4 K/BB in 25.2 innings with 10 hits allowed.

Standing 6-0, 190, the 18-year-old Berrios is showing a mid-90s fastball, and both his breaking ball and changeup are exceeding his pre-draft scouting reports. The breaking ball is variously described as either a hard curve or a slider, depending on which source you're talking to, but either way it is effective. His changeup is advanced for his age. He also tinkered with a cutter and a slow curve as an amateur. Although he doesn't have much physical projection remaining in terms of size, he is athletic, repeats his mechanics well, and has mature mound presence.

The Twins used him in relief at first in the Gulf Coast League to get him acclimated to pro ball, but he's starting now and has the arsenal to stick there. His control has been very sharp, and obviously his performance has been outstanding so far. I like him a lot and he could end up being one of the best pitchers in the draft class.