Scouting Blue Jays Prospect #45 Yesson Berroa

Scouting Blue Jays Prospect #45 Yesson Berroa

After six years in the Blue Jays system, Yesson Berroa finally began to blossom into his potential and had a breakout season in two different levels for Toronto. Berroa is viewed as a luxury arm out of the bullpen because of his ability to over power batters, and at the same time throw with command of all his pitches.

Vital Statistics:
Name: Yesson Berroa
Position: Pitcher
DOB: July 30, 1982
Height: 6'5
Weight: 230
Bats: Right
Throws: Right

Berroa was signed by Toronto on July 13, 2000 out of the Dominican Republic. In his first season with Toronto he was sent to pitch in the Dominican Summer League. Pitching out of the starting rotation, he went 7-5 with a 2.33 ERA in 85 innings, while walking 23 batters, fanning 74 and holding opposing batters to a .253 batting average against mark.

Toronto felt it was time to bring Berroa up to the States, but from 2002 to 2005 he faced numerous struggles on the mound. A few Jays' officials felt Berroa needed time to adjust to the style of American baseball and also to the lifestyle of the United States.

The hard throwing right-handed pitcher went 2-4 with a 6.84 ERA in rookie ball for Toronto in 2002 after the club decided to try him out as a reliever. After that season the organization decided Berroa was facing too many changes, and they allowed him to pitch as a starter once again in 2003. The results improved slightly, but they were not enough for the right-hander to graduate from rookie league. He repeated the level for a third consecutive year in 2004. Again, pitching as a starter, his struggles continued.

After beginning the 2005 season in extended spring training, Berroa received a break in early May when Dunedin needed a reliever. Toronto decided to challenge the reliever and Berroa held his own over his first five outings, as he allowed three runs in 6 1/3 innings. Berroa got lit up after that period, giving up 9 runs over a span of 6 innings. He was then sent down to Auburn when the short-season leagues began, but he found himself making spot-appearances with Lansing and even Dunedin throughout the summer.

This past season he began with Lansing and pitched tremendously. He held opponents to a .206 batting average against mark, while fanning 43 batters in 36 1/3 innings. After a promotion to Dunedin, Berroa continued his domination. Hitters batted just .194 off him, and in 20 2/3 innings Berroa struck out 21 batters.

Repertoire: Fastball, slider, changeup

Fastball: The right-handed pitcher features an above-average fastball, which has been clocked as high as 96 MPH. Berroa keeps his fastball low in the strike zone, and is able to locate it well. His average velocity has been clocked between 93-95 MPH, but he can throw it harder with accuracy, and even take a few miles off his fastball to keep hitters off balance.

Secondary Pitches: Berroa also features an above-average power slider, which he uses to strike out batters. The pitch also enables him to induce ground balls and get himself out of jams. A few reports also indicate that he has also been working with a changeup and even a sinker/splitter to expand his arsenal on the mound.

On the Mound: Berroa is a rare power arm in the minor leagues who can strike batters out, but also at the same time command all his pitches, and throw all of them for strikes at any count.

Projection: His career as a starter appears to be over. The right-hander has settled into the American lifestyle, and has also gotten comfortable with his role out of the bullpen.

2007 Outlook: Since his age is against him, and he had tremendous success in "A-ball" this past season, we would like to see the Jays challenge Berroa with a spot in the Double-A bullpen to begin the season.

ETA: 2008 : Many talent evaluators feel Berroa could progress rapidly in the upper levels of the minor leagues. If he handles New Hampshire well this season, Berroa will see the majors within 2008. Recommended Stories

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