Breakout Prospect (2019) Can The Twins’ Brusdar Graterol Emerge As An Elite Prospect?

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Pitching prospects are always a risky proposition, with the need for a little bit of projection as well as the risk of injury. That doesn’t mean that they should be ignored, and one prospect who could potentially take a meteoric leap this season is the Twins’ Brusdor Graterol.  There is still a little bit of projection, particularly in terms of his repertoire, but he showed the signs of emerging as the Twins’ pitching prospect that finally delivers on the promise (though Jose Berrios still has the chance to live up to that billing) on the back of a fastball that can reach triple digits.  Let’s take a look and get to know him a little bit better:  Rotoprofessor Pre-Season Ranking – Twins’ #3 Prospect Throws – Right-Handed Age – 20 2018 Statistics: Low-A – 41.1 IP, 2.18 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, 11.10 K/9, 1.96 BB/9 Single-A – 60.2 IP, 3.12 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 8.31 K/9, 2.82 BB/9 Thoughts: In total he showed off all three skills that we look for from a pitcher, and did so in impressive fashion:
  • Strikeouts – 9.44 K/9
  • Control – 2.47 BB/9
  • Groundballs – 54.4%
The strikeouts dropped upon his promotion, with his SwStr% going from 14.4% to 8.6%.  The lack of a true third pitch, against more advanced hitting, is likely the culprit and that’s going to be the key to his development.  Here’s a breakdown of his arsenal, courtesy of Baseball America:
  • Fastball –Since his return, he pitches at 96-100 mph and touches 101 while throwing exclusively two-seamers. With his renewed commitment to conditioning, especially to his strong legs and hindquarters, Graterol can maintain that 80-grade fastball into the later innings.”
  • Slider –His tight, late-breaking slider shows plus-plus potential at 87-90 mph, and at times it is almost unhittable.”
  • Curveball –His average curveball tends to get loopy at 82-84 mph
  • Changeup –his power changeup can be too firm despite heavy sink.
He underwent Tommy John costing him a significant amount of time, but he has proven that he’s put that in the rearview mirror.  The stuff is as good as it gets, despite standing just 6’1”, and if the Twins can help him develop his changeup (which Rich Wilson as Prospect 361 labeled as “ok”) it will give him an additional weapon to help keep more advanced hitters off balance. The upside is there and there’s a good chance he’s able to take the next step forward.  He has time, with his arrival not expected until 2020 at the earliest, but he should see time at Double-A this season and could really establish himself as one of the best in baseball. Current Grade – B+ Upside Grade – A Sources – Fangraphs, MILB.com, Baseball America, Prospect 361

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