By Dan Cook, WCCO Radio
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Twins fans have been begging for it since last fall, and Wednesday night they’ll get their wish.
Minnesota has called up pitching prospect Jose Berrios (buh-REE-ohs, for those commentating along at home) and he’ll make his Major League debut Wednesday night against Cleveland.
Berrios was the 32nd overall draft pick in the 2012 draft out of Papa Juan XXIII High School in Bayamon, Puerto Rico. He began the year as the Twins top pitching prospect, and the #16 prospect in all of baseball according to MLBPipeline.com.
He made three starts at Triple-A Rochester this year, going 2-0, striking out 20 while surrendering just eight walks, en route to a 1.06 ERA.
The detractors will say he’s too short and that there’s not enough downward plane on his fastball. Both are fair concerns.
But that fastball sits in the mid-90’s and Berrios mixes in a curve along with a plus-changeup. If his command is right, that can be a devastating combination of pitches.READ MORE: Family Mourns 'Loving' And 'Gentle' St. Paul Man After Fatal Hit-And-Run
When asked if there was a possibility for Berrios to pitch his way into the rotation (rather than just being up for a start or two), Twins GM Terry Ryan said, “I wouldn’t mind that at all. That would mean he’s competing.”
Jose met the media after Tuesday night’s walk-off win and said he’s just excited to be here.
“Finally I get my first start in the big leagues,” Berrios said, “I’m going out there, enjoy, do my work and help the team win like today. It’s beautiful when the team wins. Everybody’s happy.”
Beautiful was a word Berrios used frequently. Especially when describing the chance to fulfill a dream.
“You want to be here [big leagues] when you grow up and play baseball,” Berrios said, “when you play in the best level, that’s beautiful for everybody.”
For now, Jose needs to focus on getting a good night’s rest ahead of his debut.
“Every time we fly in the airplane, I take a little bit of sleep, but today I can’t,” Berrios said, “I’m too excited. But I think I can rest tonight and be ready for tomorrow.”
Hopefully the weather gods will cooperate. Chris Shaffer’s forecast calls for lingering showers and a high of only 48.MORE NEWS: Minnesota Gophers Beat Maryland 34-16
Still, a Major League debut is something special. And the Twins hope it’s the start of many special things for Jose Berrios.