Puerto Rico will attempt to improve on their 2006 and 2009 round 2 eliminations this time around at the World Baseball Classic. They are hoping they have found a little unknown diamond in the rough to help lead the way on the mound.
Puerto Rico will boast one of the youngest players in the World Baseball Classic tourney when 18 year old Jose Berrios takes the bump for Team Puerto Rico. It is unclear whether Berrios will start or work out of the bullpen for Puerto Rico but if I were to bet, chances are we will see the youngster emerge from the bullpen.
The 18-year-old native of Bayamon, Puerto Rico was a 1st round draft pick of the Minnesota Twins drafted 32nd overall in last year’s amateur baseball draft out of Papa Juan High School.
Berrios impressed in his first taste of professional ball playing for both the Elizabethton Twins and the Gulf Coast Twins, both rookie league affiliates of the Twins.
Berrios ended the season with a 3-0 record with an era of 1.17 fanning 49 batters in 30 innings pitched. Not a bad introduction to the minor leagues.
Berrios will get a chance to pitch against some of the best major league players on the planet with Puerto Rico slated to face the Dominican Republic, Venezuela and Spain in the round one bracket.
If Berrios succeeds in the tourney like he has so far in his professional career, it won’t be long before Jose Orlando Berrios is a household name for years to come.
Clayton Richer covers the Toronto Blue Jays for Rant Sports. Follow and interact with him on Twitter at @MLBHotCorner.