Morning sports update: 3 things to know about Brusdar Graterol, the pitching prospect acquired in the Mookie Betts trade

An MLB pipeline scouting report says Graterol's fastball "touches triple digits."

Brusdar Graterol threw a scoreless inning with two strikeouts in his postseason debut against the Yankees in Game 1 of the 2019 ALDS.
Brusdar Graterol threw a scoreless inning with two strikeouts in his postseason debut against the Yankees in Game 1 of the 2019 ALDS. –Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images

The Bruins defeated the Canucks on Tuesday night, 4-0. In the women’s Beanpot semifinals, Northeastern and Boston University emerged victorious and will play in next week’s final.

But without question, the dominant story of the night was the momentous decision made by the Red Sox to trade superstar outfielder Mookie Betts to the Dodgers in a three-team deal.

Boston sent the 27-year-old Betts and 33-year-0ld starting pitcher David Price to the Dodgers as well as cash. Los Angeles sent 23-year-old outfielder Alex Verdugo back to Boston, while also shipping 31-year-old starter Kenta Maeda to the Twins. Minnesota, in turn, sent 21-year-old right-hander pitching prospect Brusdar Graterol to the Red Sox.

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The Dodgers also reportedly traded outfielder Joc Pederson to the Angels in a separate deal.

What to know about Brusdar Graterol: The decision to trade Betts will rightfully come under enormous scrutiny, but Red Sox Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom managed to acquire an interesting pitching prospect in the deal.

Graterol, one of the top prospects in the Twins’ organization prior to the trade, has tremendous potential. He ranked 53rd on MLB.com’s list of the top 100 prospects in 2019.

Here’s the prospect scouting report on Graterol:

Graterol’s stuff continues to get better the more he matures and the further removed from surgery he gets. His fastball touches triple digits and will often sit in the 96-98 mph range, with an ability to maintain velocity deep into starts. Throwing with plenty of sink, Graterol misses bats and gets a ton of ground-ball outs off of his fastball. When he committed to throw the harder version of his slider, in the 87-89 mph range, it trended toward plus, but he would back off of it at times. Continued separation between that and his slower curve will help, as will further refinement of his changeup.

According to Boston Globe Red Sox reporter Alex Speier, Graterol projects as a potential front-of-the-rotation starter, or valuable specialist:

He made his Major League debut in 2019, pitching 9.2 innings over 10 appearances. In total, he compiled a 4.66 ERA while notching 10 strikeouts.

Here are a few things to know about him:

1. He has elite velocity: The most notable thing about Graterol as a pitcher is his velocity. In one moment during his time in the minor leagues, Graterol hit 103.8 miles per hour on the radar gun.

He’s also shown his overpowering stuff at the Major League level:

Here’s footage of him warming up in 2018 during his time in the minor leagues:

2. The Twins organization and experts think highly of him: One way to gauge a player’s value is by examining what his previous team (and its reporters) have said about him. In this regard, the Red Sox have reason to be optimistic.

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“There is no question that the Twins are opening themselves up to be second-guessed for years to come,” wrote Aaron Gleeman, the Twins’ writer for The Athletic. Gleeman labeled Graterol an “awfully big chip,” noting that he was set to place third out of 40 in an upcoming ranking of the Twins’ prospects.

Aside from his ability on the field, Graterol’s character was praised in a tweet from Minnesota’s Double-A affiliate:

3. He comes with a history of injuries: Potentially the largest concern regarding Graterol going forward will be durability. As Phil Miller of the Minnesota Star Tribune noted, Graterol’s perceived career trajectory as a pitcher had already been altered due to his prior injuries.

“Graterol missed all of 2016 and half of 2017 after undergoing elbow surgery, and spent more than two months last summer on the injured list because of an impingement,” wrote Miller. “The Twins brought him to the majors in September as a reliever, and perhaps suspecting that he would have trouble remaining healthy as a starter, last month revealed their plan to leave him in the bullpen, at least for 2020.”

One additional note: Boston will have its newest pitcher on a lower salary for several years. Graterol is not salary arbitration eligible until 2023 and can’t become an unrestricted free agent until 2026.

Trivia: Mookie Betts was drafted with the 172nd pick in the 2011 draft. Who was taken first overall that year?

(Answer at the bottom).

Hint: Drafted by the Pirates, he was later traded to the Astros.

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More from Boston.com:

ESPN baseball insider Jeff Passan breaks down the Betts trade:

Boston University women’s hockey trolled the Red Sox during the 4-0 Beanpot semifinals win over Boston College:

Baseball wasn’t the only league to see a major trade on Tuesday night:

Duke’s Cassius Stanley threw down a thunderous dunk against Boston College:

On this day: In 2017, the Patriots completed the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history to defeat the Falcons, 34-28. James White scored his third touchdown of the night in overtime — a Super Bowl first — to win the game, and “28-3” was indelibly etched into football lexicon.

Daily highlight: Gio Reyna, the 18-year-old son of former U.S. soccer players Claudio Reyna and Danielle Egan, scored his first goal for Borussia Dortmund with astounding skill.

Trivia answer: Gerrit Cole

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