Berrios had a fantastic year in 2023. His ERA was markedly improved from the season before and he pitched the fourth most innings of his career. A pitcher who showed such tantalizing potential with the Minnesota Twins earlier in his career finally put it together over a full season north of the border. Ironically enough, his best and most memorable start may have been in the Wild Card game in Minnesota when he was pulled after allowing one earned run in three innings.
Berrios had such a good year in 2023 that the projections seem to forecast a slight regression for the Puerto Rican righthander. At the same time, the numbers still paint a picture of a starter who is growing more comfortable in his role and doing everything he can to take the next step. The projections indicate he may have been the beneficiary of some good luck. Having said that, ZiPS still forecasts a .292 BABIP, a number that still checks in four points under the MLB average. Strikeouts, walks, and contact numbers should all remain in a steady middle area for the righthander.
The biggest issue for Berrios in his short introduction to the Blue Jays may have been the home run ball. Berrios twisted his neck 29 times to see the ball fly over the fence in 2022, a figure he brought back into line with his career averages during the 2023 season. A figure of 1.2 HR/9 from 2023 matched his 162 game avg and early Minnesota tenure.
Overall, the arrow is pointing up for Berrios in 2024. Under the tutelage of Pete Walker, Berrios has rediscovered a new level. Berrios needs to keep attacking hitters and trust his stuff. He can be expected to settle into the middle of a vaunted rotation. Berrios is still in the middle of a $131M extension he inked prior to 2022. At age 29, he should still be in the middle of his prime.