Nothing beats coffee, donuts, and MiLB.TV baseball on a rainy, weekday morning. Alas, I didn't have the donuts, but two-of-three isn't bad.
An 11:05 A.M. contest between the Triple-A International League's Pawtucket Red Sox (Red Sox) and Rochester Red Wings (Twins) featured Minnesota's top prospect, RHP Jose Berrios, who ranked #14 overall on our Fake Teams Consensus Top 100 Fantasy Prospects List. At 21, Berrios is the IL's youngest player. He already might be the organization's best pitcher.
On the other side, the visiting Red Sox boast a middle-of-the-order with plenty of pedigree, including OF Rusney Castillo, C Blake Swihart, 1B Sam Travis, and OF Justin Maxwell. All except Travis, Boston's 2nd-round pick in 2014 who entered the game batting .339, have Major-League experience. LHP Brian Johnson, our #8 fantasy prospect in Boston's system, opposed Berrios.
So far in 2016 Berrios has struggled a bit with his command, choosing to throw more offspeed and breaking stuff than he had thrown in the past. On this day, however, with Minnesota GM Terry Ryan in attendance, Berrios turned in a dominant performance, by far his best of the young season.
Early on in the game Berrios set the pattern that would bring him success all morning and afternoon. He used his plus fastball to get ahead of hitters and then finished them off with his offspeed and breaking stuff. In the first inning he caught Castillo looking on a great curveball, and then got Travis swinging at a nasty changeup. He later fell behind several hitters but rallied back from 3-1 counts. Two more strikeouts followed in the 3rd, both on his curveball, and in the 4th he struck out Travis on another changeup. In all, only one of his seven Ks came on a fastball. He carried a no-hitter into the 6th inning and finished with a line that had to have caught his GM's attention (7 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K).
Farm Tracker has followed some prospects who are a long way from the Majors, but Berrios is not one of them. As the calendar flips to May, fantasy players in redraft leagues should pay close attention to the Twins' young righthander. His callup could come at any moment.