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Virginia reliever Jake Berry signs free-agent deal with Cleveland Guardians

Chris Graham
jake berry
Photo: UVA Athletics

Virginia pitcher Jake Berry has signed a free-agent deal with the MLB’s Cleveland Guardians, according to D1Baseball.com.

Berry, a 6’10” lefthander, pitched in 50 games in his three seasons at Virginia, primarily out of the bullpen, though he did get nine starts in 2022.

Berry was 5-8 with a 4.39 ERA and 1.31 WHIP, with 134 strikeouts and 53 walks in 112.2 innings.

He pitched himself into being a reliable back-of-the-bullpen guy for Brian O’Connor in 2023, even as his numbers – 0-5, 3.93 ERA – might not reflect that.

Berry took the loss in Virginia’s opener at the College World Series, getting charged with four runs, all earned, on four hits – three of them solo homers – in the 6-5 loss to Florida on June 16.

Prior to that, Berry had put in three scoreless innings for UVA in its run through the postseason to a CWS berth, striking out four, walking one and allowing two hits in three innings of relief.

For a tall drink of water, Berry, a native of Great Falls, Va., doesn’t have overpowering stuff, with a fastball that tops out in the low-90s.

That would seem to be the kind of thing that could be worked out with a mechanical tweak or two, which is why he’s worth the time and low amount of money that Cleveland will be putting in his direction with the free-agent deal.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham, the king of "fringe media," is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].