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Playing for Puerto Rico, Berrios impresses Twins

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Even though Twins prospect Jose Berrios picked up the loss in Puerto Rico's 4-2 defeat to the Dominican Republic on Sunday, general manager Terry Ryan and manager Ron Gardenhire were impressed with the young pitcher.

Berrios, who is just 18 years old, made his World Baseball Classic debut and gave up two runs on three hits and a walk. But he also struck out Yankees star Robinson Cano on a high fastball.

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"I was impressed with his composure," Ryan said. "He came back and got himself under control. I heard he threw hard and threw some nice changeups. It was a tough situation against tough competition at 18 years old. He started to crack a little but got it back, so I was impressed. And now they're going to Miami. He'll benefit from what he experienced."

Berrios, ranked as the club's No. 9 prospect according to MLB.com, posted a 1.17 ERA with 49 strikeouts and four walks in 30 2/3 innings in rookie ball last year. He's expected to start the year at Class A Cedar Rapids.

"He has no fear," Gardenhire said. "He's very confident. He's not afraid at all."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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{"event":["prospect" ,"spring_training" ] }
{"event":["prospect" ,"spring_training" ] }