Graterol continues to dominate for Wahoos

Twins No. 3 prospect gives up one hit in seven shutout frames

Brusdar Graterol shares the Southern League lead with 18 strikeouts over 17 1/3 innings. (Pensacola Blue Wahoos)

By Shlomo Sprung / MiLB.com | April 16, 2019 10:41 PM

Brusdar Graterol continues to outdo himself on the mound for Pensacola.

MLB.com's No. 65 overall prospect allowed one hit and one walk while striking out eight over seven scoreless innings Tuesday night in the Blue Wahoos' 3-2, 10-inning loss to Biloxi at MGM Park.

Video: Pensacola's Graterol strikes out eighth

Through 17 1/3 frames in three starts, Graterol has allowed one earned run for a 0.52 ERA that ranks fourth in the Southern League. The Twins' No. 3 prospect gave up that run over 4 2/3 innings in his season debut on April 5 at Mobile and followed that with 5 2/3 scoreless frames on Thursday against Jacksonville. 

"I was trying to concentrate and throw strikes and not paying attention to the result," Graterol said through his pitching coach and translator Cibney Bello, "trying to maintain the same focus from pitch one to when the manager took the ball away from me."

Although he didn't realize he had thrown 55 of 80 pitches for strikes through seven innings, the 20-year-old said he could have gone longer but respected manager Ramon Borrego's decision.


Gameday box score


"I'm trying to control what I can control," he added.

Improving his concentration and focus was a point of emphasis for Graterol since the end of last season, something he worked on in Spring Training with Bello and other members of the Twins coaching staff.

Against Biloxi, the Venezuela native retired the first 11 hitters before Dillon Thomas with two outs in the fourth. The lone hit he allowed was a single by Luis Aviles Jr. with two outs in the fifth.

"I'm trying not to worry about results and focus on every pitch that I throw," Graterol said.

The 6-foot-1 righty impressed during his first year of full-season ball. Graterol earned Midwest League All-Star honors with Class A Cedar Rapids, where he was 3-2 with a 2.18 ERA and 51 strikeouts against nine walks over 44 1/3 innings. He was promoted to Class A Advanced Fort Myers on June 28 and went 5-2 with a 3.12 ERA, 56 strikeouts and 19 walks over 60 2/3 frames in 11 Florida State League starts.

Graterol credited Bello, who's also from Venezuela, with helping him this spring and putting him in position to succeed in his first stint at the Double-A level.

2019 MiLB include

"He's been a great mentor for me," Graterol said of his pitching coach. "He's always been there for me for the good and bad moments, especially when I needed that support. I'm grateful for that. My mentality is work hard, stay focused, be positive, try to help the team and always move forward, no matter the situation."

Brewers No. 11 prospect Trey Supak matched Graterol for six innings, limiting the Shuckers to one hit and no walks while striking out four.

Pensacola snapped a scoreless tie in the 10th, with Caleb Hamilton's RBI single opening a 2-0 lead. But Biloxi answered in the bottom of the inning as Thomas ripped an RBI triple and scored the tying run on a double by Weston Wilson. After a passed ball and an intentional walk, Aviles ended the game with a sacrifice fly.

Shlomo Sprung is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @sprungonsports View More