Jose Berrios was in total control on Wednesday for Class AA Chattanooga, tossing a complete game shutout at Birmingham, giving up just two hits and two walks while striking out eight.
It came after an outing last Friday in which he went eight innings against Jackson.

So, yes, he is surging.

``He's done a good job,'' said Brad Steil, the Twins director of minor league operations. ``He's had a couple really good starts and a couple so-so starts and (Wednesday) might have been the best start of the year for him.

``He's done a nice job. Velocity has been good. he's been up to 95-96 (miles an hour), the change up has been good.''

Berrios' feel for his change up was one thing the Twins liked about him when they drafted him in 2012. And his ability to change speeds has been evident. The next step for him is working in his curveball more. It will be important for Berrios, 20, to get a third pitch in his mix as he reaches the top levels of the farm system.

``I think he has a lot of confidence in his fastball and,  as far as the two secondary pitches go, hes got more confidence in the change up. It's just a matter of throwing (the curve) more and gaining more confidence in it.''

Berrios is 4-1 with a 2.60 ERA and could force the Twins to promote him to Class AAA Rochester with outings like on Wednesday.

The Big Three

Miguel Sano, Jorge Polanco and Max Kepler represent the Twins' biggest jump into the international signing pool. And all are now at Chattanooga.

Sano, a third baseman and one of the top prospects in baseball, has gotten off to a slow start, batting .214 with 6 home runs and 17 RBI in 32 games, but he is batting .344 over his last nine games with one homer and five RBI.

``Sano is off to a slow start and people might be worried about that,'' Steil said, ``but he is going to be fine.''
One problem is that he's committed nine errors.

``Not alarming,'' Steil said when asked if the errors were alarming. ``He's got to tighten some things up. Having that year and half off (because of elbow surgery) he is rusty and it is going to come with time.''

Polanco, 21, can hit. He was called up to the Twins from Class A Fort Myers last season due to an emergency and didn't look overmatched at the plate. He's batting .293 with 4 home runs and 18 RBI for the Lookouts.

The Twins weren't sure if Polanco could stick at short but he has changed some minds,

``I think he's got enough range,'' Steil said. ``The one thing is making plays to to his right and making strong enough throws across the field. He's pretty good going to his left.''

Kepler, 22, is on fire at Chattanooga, batting .447 over his last 10 games and is 8-for-14 over his last four games. A corner outfielder and occasional first baseman, Kepler was born in Germany.

Kepler. slowed by a forearm strain during spring training, likes to hit the ball to the opposite field and up the middle, but Lookouts coach Chad Allen has been addressing that.

``We're trying to make sure when he gets the opportunity to pull the ball he takes advantage of it,'' Steil said.

The forearm strain forced Kepler to start the season at Fort Myers. He's batting .333 through 19 games at Chattanooga.

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