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Updated: June 4th, 2012 9:37pm
Twins' pick at No. 32: Hard-throwing right-hander J.O. Berrios

Twins' pick at No. 32: Hard-throwing right-hander J.O. Berrios

by Phil Mackey
1500ESPN.com
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MINNEAPOLIS -- With the No. 32 overall pick in Monday night's Major League Baseball amateur draft the Minnesota Twins addressed a major need by selecting hard-throwing 18-year-old right-hander Jose Orlando Berrios out of Papa Juan XXIII High School in Bayamon, Puerto Rico.

Berrios -- 6-1, 180 pounds -- was rated as Baseball America's 49th best prospect heading into the draft. He becomes just the third pitcher from Puerto Rico ever to be drafted in the top two rounds.

Per Baseball America, Berrios throws a fastball that sits "in the 93-95 mph range and some scouts have seen him touch 98. He throws his fastball down in the zone, mixes in a sharp, 80-81 mph slider and shows the makings of a solid changeup with fading action."

Twins scouting director Deron Johnson provided a similar assessment of Berrios' stuff, adding, "He's a really good athlete. He changes speeds well. We think he's an advanced pitcher for a young high school kid. He can elevate his fastball. The kid really has an idea how to pitch."

Johnson said Berrios and the No. 42 pick Luke Bard are "definitely" strikeout pitchers and recalled watching Berrios throw a no-hitter earlier this year against an all-star team that No. 1 overall pick Carlos Correa played for.

"He threw a no-hitter with 14 strikeouts and just missed a perfect game," Johnson said. "The competition was very good."

The Twins acquired the No. 32 pick as compensation for Michael Cuddyer signing with the Colorado Rockies last winter.



Phil Mackey is a columnist for 1500ESPN.com. He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Phil | @PhilMackey | Mackey & Judd
In this story: Michael Cuddyer
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