2012 Draft: J.O. Berrios

MLBTR: 2013 Yankees Contract Issues
HOPE Week expanding to minor league affiliates this year

The 2012 amateur draft is less than one week away, so between now and then I’m going to highlight some prospects individually rather than lump them together into larger posts.

Jose Orlando (J.O.) Berrios | RHP

It’s a strong year for Puerto Rico, with infielder Carlos Correa in the mix to go first overall. Berrios attends Papa Juan XXIII High School and is expected to be the first pitcher from the island selected next week. He’s committed to Miami Dade College, a two-year school.

Scouting Report
Standing 6-foot-1 and 180 lbs. after spending the last few months working with a trainer, Berrios sits anywhere from 90-95 with his fastball and has legitimately run it up to 98 at times this spring. A power low-80s slider is his top secondary offering and he’s made progress with a fading changeup. Berrios throws strikes because he’s athletic and has a smooth and repeatable delivery. It’s worth noting that he just turned 18 last weekend and is young for the draft class.

MLB.com (#45), Baseball America (#49), and Keith Law (#79) all ranked Berrios as a sandwich/second round talent recently. The present stuff is among the best in the draft class but he doesn’t offer a ton of projection given his size. Law mentioned that the Yankees were focusing on arms yesterday, specifically Berrios and some other high schoolers. They’d likely have to grab him with their first rounder (#30 overall) rather than wait for their two second rounders (#89 and #94 overall), meaning Berrios would only be the second prep pitcher taken with the top pick under scouting director Damon Oppenheimer (Gerrit Cole in 2008). I’m a fan.

MLBTR: 2013 Yankees Contract Issues
HOPE Week expanding to minor league affiliates this year
  • Will (the other one)

    If the scouting reports are accurate, I’m a fan too. Just so long as nobody in the organization later tries to replace his slider with a curve.

  • Voice of Reason

    Is it just me or does he look a lot like a miniature Dellin Betances facially?

    Wasn’t lighting up the gun in that clip, but his fastball looks like it has great tail and he does look very athletic and low-effort on the mound. Definitely has the look of an advanced 18 year old. Who doesn’t these days, but he also has a pretty pronounced inverted W in his delivery. Say what you will, but that has to be at least a minor concern.

  • Jose M. Vazquez..

    I hope these kids make it to the majors. It has been a while since a youngster from Puerto Rico has made it to the big leagues (Molina, Beltran, and some others I cannot recall offhand).

    • http://fendersonandhampton.com Cuso

      Angel Pagan, Jonathan Sanchez, Alex Rios currently are among the bigger names

  • JohnC

    Not worth a first round pick. Would rather see them draft a top position player like Joey Gallo, Mitch Gueller or Addison Russell.

  • Chris

    Kid looks good but I agree not worth the first round pick especially if Gueller, Trahan, or Gallo is still there, not sold on Russel

  • zs190

    I think I heard about him on the BA podcast and they mentioned that he’s considered very signable and could be a guy that a lot of teams look at to save money on other picks. He might not even last to the Yanks’ first round pick even though he’s a sandwich round value.

    He seems like he’s still got potential to be a good starter for an easy to sign guy, I’m a fan too given the environment under the new CBA.

  • Endlessmike

    He is good sandwich pick like Joba Chamberlain.Edwin Diaz is another Puerto Rican who is as good and taller.

    But this kid a year ago was a unknown prospect but the last 6 months he’s stock soared.There’s many Puerto Ricans who are not seen alot but have high upside.Low first rounders are a gamble.