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Berry van Driel

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Berry van Driel

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 4", Weight 198 lb.

BR minors page

[edit] Biographical Information

Berry van Driel made his debut with the Dutch national team in 2007. It was his first year solely as a pitcher, having also been an infielder in the past.

van Driel debuted in Hoofdklasse in 2002 with ADO. He hit .282/.341/.295 for the 2005 Tornado's and fielded .879 as their main third baseman. He tied for 6th in Hoofdklasse with 44 hits. On the hill, the 20-year-old was 0-2 with 2 saves and a 6.75 ERA. In 2006, van Driel batted .224/.327/.259 while manning second base for ADO. He was 0-1 with a 7.71 ERA in his two mound appearances.

In 2007, van Driel became a full-time pitcher and went 3-1 with 5 saves and a 3.71 ERA. He walked 27 in 34 IP. Despite that mediocre performance, he still joined the Dutch national team for a historic visit to the US where they played the College US team. He threw 1 1/3 scoreless innings in the 2007 World Port Tournament. He was not on the Dutch squad for the 2007 European Championship but returned for the 2007 Baseball World Cup. He pitched one scoreless inning against the bottom-dwelling Thai national team in the first Dutch game of the tournament and did not appear again as the team finished 4th.

Van Driel tossed three shutout innings for DOOR Neptunus in the 2008 European Cup in Regensburg despite 3 walks and 2 hits allowed; he fanned four. In the 2008 Hoofdklasse, Berry was 0-1 with two saves and a 4.30 ERA for Neptunus and allowed two runs in 2/3 innings in the playoffs.

Given his 2008 performance and the addition to the Dutch squad of more US pros, it was a surprise that van Driel was picked for the Dutch roster in the 2009 World Baseball Classic. He walked 3 and allowed 3 hits and two runs in two innings in the Classic; only Juan Carlos Sulbaran had a higher ERA for the Orange. Van Driel pitched the 6th inning against Puerto Rico, allowing a hit to Carlos Beltran, walks to Carlos Delgado and Alex Rios and a single to Hiram Bocachica; he struck out both Bernie Williams and Felipe Lopez that inning. He then pitched the 8th inning in the final Netherlands game, a loss to Team USA; he walked Kevin Youkilis, retired Mark DeRosa and Shane Victorino, gave up a RBI double to Brian McCann and then got Chris Iannetta out.

Van Driel had a save and a 2.45 ERA in the 2009 World Port Tournament. In the 2009 Hoofdklasse, he was 3-0 with four saves and a 1.23 ERA for Neptunus. He allowed only 14 hits in 29 1/3 IP. Neptunus won the 2009 Holland Series. In the 2010 Hoofdklasse campaign, Berry went 2-0 with four saves, a 1.08 ERA and .161 opponent average, forming a fine bullpen duo with Jorian van Acker (0.71 ERA). His 22 games pitched tied Michiel van Kampen for the league lead and he tied Al Morales Gomes for second in saves behind van Kampen. He struggled in his lone outing in the 2010 Holland Series (1 BB, 2 R, 1 ER in 1 IP) but Neptunus beat the Amsterdam Pirates. He tossed 3 1/3 shutout innings in the 2010 Haarlem Baseball Week.

In the 2010 European Championship, van Driel fared poorly. He wrapped up a win of the Czech national team with 1 2/3 scoreless IP after replacing Diegomar Markwell. In his other game, though, he was rocked for 6 runs in the final 1 1/3 IP after relieving Dave Draijer in a 11-3 loss to Italy, including a 3-run bomb by Mario Chiarini. The Netherlands won the Silver Medal. He also pitched for the Netherlands in the 2010 Intercontinental Cup, working 1 1/3 shutout innings in a win over Thailand (replacing Orlando Yntema, relieved by Nick Stuifbergen). His other appearance came in the Gold Medal game, a 4-1 loss to powerhouse Cuba. In the 8th, he replaced Stuifbergen with a 2-0 deficit and allowed a double to Giorvis Duvergel and a homer to Alexei Bell to fall behind 4-0. It was still a strong second-place showing for the Netherlands, their best in a global event to that point.

Van Driel was the worst hurler for Neptunus in the 2011 European Cup (4 H, 2 R in 2 2/3 IP). He went 1-2 with a 3.16 ERA in 20 outings in the 2011 Hoofdklasse, behind Asjes, Kevin van Veen and van Acker as a bullpen option for Neptunus. He was 9th in the league in games pitched. He still made the Dutch roster for the 2011 Baseball World Cup but was their least-used hurler, working 4 innings in their 12 games. He also took the only loss of their tournament as they won their first Gold in a Baseball World Cup. He took the loss to Team Canada, relieving Leon Boyd in the 9th and allowing two unearned runs in 2 1/3 IP, with the game-losing blow being an Emerson Frostad single. In his other outing, he relieved Rob Cordemans and was relieved by David Bergman in a 7-3 win over Panama (1 2/3 IP, 2 H, 2 K, 0 R).

After a rough stint the year before, he did well in the 2012 European Cup (3 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 0 R, 3 K in 3 G). He returned to his 2010 role as the #2 reliever for Neptunus behind van Acker, going 2-0 with a save and a 2.04 ERA in 18 games in the 2012 Hoofdklasse, with 27 K and 11 H in 19 2/3 IP. He tied Jean-Paul Gulinck, Rik Geestman and Jan Řeháček for 10th in the league in games pitched. He allowed three unearned runs, three hits and three walks in 1 2/3 IP in the 2012 Holland Series as Neptunus was swept by Corendon Kinheim.

He did well for the Netherlands in the 2012 Haarlem Baseball Week (Sv, 4 IP, 1 H, 0 BB, 0 R, 2 K). He pitched twice in the 2012 European Championship. Against the British national team, he replaced Yntema in the 6th of a 11-2 win and worked 1 1/3 IP (1 H, 0 BB, 0 R, 4 K) before Bergman replaced him. In his other outing, he relieved Asjes in the bottom of the 7th with a 3-3 tie with Italy. He fanned future major leaguer Chris Colabello to escape a jam and pitched a scoreless 8th. In the 9th, though, he walked Juan Carlos Infante to lead off and Bergman relieved him; Infante came around to score the winning run. The Netherlands won the Silver Medal.

Berry had the highest ERA of any pitcher who retired a batter in the 2013 World Baseball Classic (Gabriel Asakura, R.J. Swindle and I-Cheng Wang all had infinity ERAs). His 108.00 ERA was five times as bad as Bergman, the next-worst on the 13-man Netherlands staff. In his lone outing for a strong Dutch team that made the final four, he replaced Kevin Heijstek in the 7th with a 12-4 deficit. He allowed a single to Hirokazu Ibata, retired Seiichi Uchikawa, gave up a Shinnosuke Abe hit then plunked Yoshio Itoi before serving up a grand slam to Hayato Sakamoto. After a walk to Sho Nakata, he was yanked in favor of Johnny Balentina. He was 1-0 with no runs in four innings in the 2013 World Port Tournament.

He replaced van Acker as the top Neptunus reliever in 2013 (1-1, 12 Sv, 0.83 ERA; Brendan Wise did have a 0.00 ERA in limited action). He had the best ERA of any pitcher in the league who allowed an earned run. He led the loop in saves, two ahead of Bayron Cornelisse (who was even sharper, with a 0.00 ERA in 29 1/3 IP). In the 2013 Holland Series, the veteran tossed a scoreless 9th in the opener to complete Markwell's shutout of the Vaessen Pioniers; he did not appear again as Neptunus swept the Pioniers.

Van Driel tossed a shutout inning in pool play in the 2014 European Cup as Neptunus cruised through five games. In the finale, though, he struggled against ASD Rimini. He relieved Yntema with a 2-2 score in the 9th, no out and a man on. He gave up a hit to Giuseppe Spinelli then Giuseppe Mazzanti reached on a fielder's choice and Riccardo Bertagnon singled in what would be the winning run. Berry walked Riccardo Babini to force in one run then gave up a hit to Pierangelo Cit and walked Lorenzo Di Fabio with the bases loaded, giving up four runs allowed with no outs. Misja Harcksen relieved but the game was already out of reach.

He struggled for the Netherlands in the 2014 Haarlem Baseball Week (9 H, 3 R in 3 IP), though Kevin Kellij and Sedley Karel had higher ERAs on a Dutch team that posted a 2.26 mark overall. He was then cut from the Dutch roster for the 2014 European Championship, the first time he did not make the Dutch squad in six years.

The native of the Hague was 1-1 with 6 saves and a 1.82 ERA in the regular season for Neptunus. He tied Asjes for 6th in the 2014 Hoofdklasse with 21 games pitched and was second in saves, 3 behind Asjes. He made a starting appearance in the playoffs that year, his first start since joining Neptunus in 2008 after 168 consecutive relief appearances. In the 2014 Holland Series, he struggled in relief in game 2, a 17-7 loss to the Amsterdam Pirates, giving up 3 runs in 2 IP. Despite that, he was handed the ball for game 5 with Neptunus down 3 games to 1 and facing elimination. He turned in a gem, allowing one runs in 7 2/3 IP before Kellij wrapped up the win. After Neptunus took game 6, they turned to van Driel in game 7 with Markwell out due to suspension for his role in a brawl earlier in the Series. Van Driel was matched against Cordemans, a four-time Olympian and eight-time Hoofdklasse Pitcher of the Year. In this game, van Driel was the sharper, allowing only two hits and two walks in 7 2/3 IP before Kellij saved a 1-0 win; Cordemans had won the only prior Holland Series 1-0 finale. Van Driel's two stellar starts made him the Holland Series MVP.

Sources: Honkbalsite, Dutch stats, IBAF site, World Baseball Classic, CEB stats, Haarlem Baseball Week, Marco Stoovelaar's Dutch baseball site, World Port Tournament

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