MINNEAPOLIS -- For the past few days, Jose Berrios had been texting back and forth with his mother, discussing potentially meeting up with his family in Florida during the All-Star break.Now, he'll have to cancel those plans and prepare for a trip due a bit more north. Berrios was selected
MINNEAPOLIS -- For the past few days, Jose Berrios had been texting back and forth with his mother, discussing potentially meeting up with his family in Florida during the All-Star break.
Now, he'll have to cancel those plans and prepare for a trip due a bit more north. Berrios was selected to the American League squad for the 2018 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard for the first time in his career, and will be headed to Nationals Park on July 17, as announced on ESPN on Sunday. The 24-year-old Twins ace is in the midst of a breakout season and has posted an 8-7 record and 3.54 ERA while tallying 114 strikeouts in 114 1/3 innings.
"It means a lot," Berrios said. "We've got a lot of good players. We know a couple guys deserve to be there, too, but that's baseball. I feel proud to represent my organization, the Minnesota Twins and my family in Puerto Rico. I'm so excited to be there in D.C."
Berrios, who grew up with aspirations of playing in the All-Star Game as a position player, idolized Rangers star and fellow Puerto Rico native Ivan Rodriguez. When it became apparent that his future was on the mound, Pedro Martinez became one of his idols, as well.
"We have an opportunity to make that a goal, to play in the All-Star Game," Berrios said. "So, right now, I feel happy and so excited. We know a lot of good players, a lot of big stars and Hall of Famers played there. Now Jose Berrios is going to be there too."
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Even before he received the All-Star nod, 2018 has already shaped up as banner year for Berrios. He got the chance to pitch in front of family and friends in April when the Twins faced off with the Indians for a two-game series at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He threw seven innings of scoreless ball in that outing, and has racked up four outings in which he struck out 10 or more batters.
"It's a tremendous honor for a young pitcher that we have really spoke at length about in terms of his development," Minnesota manager Paul Molitor said. "What he means in this clubhouse and where we're going. To be selected, it should be special for him. A lot of guys don't play to be All-Stars, that's just their makeup. They play at a high level and they get acknowledged when they perform well. This was the case for him."
Berrios hopes he won't be the only Twin headed to D.C. Eddie Rosario is one of five players who will have a chance to make the roster via the Camping World MLB Final Vote. Rosario has carried the Minnesota offense for much of the season and his 4.0 bWAR entering Sunday ranked 10th among AL position players.
Rosario is hitting a team-best .301 with 18 homers and 53 RBIs.
"I'm surprised," Berrios said when asked if he thought multiple Twins would make the AL roster. "I told [Eduardo Escobar], Rosario, [Fernando Rodney] -- they've all played so well, so far. But that's baseball -- they made the decision. Right now they'll just have to keep doing what they're doing, keep competing, and they're going to be great."
Fans can cast votes for the final player on each league's roster -- on computers, tablets and smartphones -- exclusively online as part of the 2018 Camping World MLB Final Vote, as well as via the MLB At Bat and MLB Ballpark mobile apps, until Wednesday at 3 p.m. CT.
Then on Tuesday, July 17, while watching the 2018 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard live on FOX, fans can submit their choices for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet with the 2018 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote.
The 89th Midsummer Classic, at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., will be televised nationally by FOX Sports; in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS; and worldwide by partners in more than 180 countries. FOX Deportes will provide Spanish-language coverage in the United States, while ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network,MLB.com and SiriusXM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage.
For more information about MLB All-Star Week and to purchase tickets, visit AllStarGame.com and follow @MLB and @AllStarGame on social media.
Jarrid Denney is a reporter for MLB.com based in Minneapolis.