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Thursday, May 25, 2017

2017 FANTASY BASEBALL STATUS REPORT: JOSE BERRIOS SP MINNESOTA TWINS

When you make three starts and win all of them, life in fantasy baseball is good for such a pitcher.  That is the current record being carried around by top Minnesota Twins pitching prospect Jose Berrios who already is putting a very ugly 2016 debut in the rearview mirror with his pinpoint power offerings.  Along with the sparkling 3-0 record, Berrios has also recorded a 1.66 ERA and is striking out guys at a high 9.14 K/9 rate.  The former 2012 first-round pick looks like a keeper by the looks of it and again he is erasing the bad memories that came from last season.

About that 2016.  Berrios quickly showed last season he was not ready to face major league lineups as he got absolutely lit up to the tune of a 8.02 ERA as pretty much everything went wrong.  For starter's, Berrios had zero control as evidenced by his ungodly 5.40 BB/9 and he allowed home runs by the bunches as shown by his 1.85 HR/9.  This season?  Try 1.66 and 1.25 respectively.  The former number is excellent but the latter is still too high as we saw in his outing Wednesday against the Baltimore Orioles when Berrios surrendered three solo shots.  Be that as it may, Berrios is racking up the strikeouts and not beating himself this season with walks.  Keep in mind though that a .105 BABIP is insanely lucky and when adjusted, the ERA story changes here with Berrios FIP of 3.77 and XFIP of 4.03 bears out.  Now we are not saying Berrios will pitch to those latter numbers but a 3.25 ERA seems much more plausible than anything he is doing now.

Right now if you are a Berrios owner, I would try to capitalize on the big start and sell high.  Fatigue will be a factor in the late summer as it would be for any young starter and the home runs will further inflate the ERA as we move on through the season.  I like the arm for sure but Berrios is doing his best stuff now and will likely see a sharp drop in value as we go into the summer.


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