Now, with the excitement of the World Series officially bringing an end to the 2021 campaign for the highest level of baseball in the world, it’s time for us to chat about a similar level of excitement closer to home.
Later today on High&Tight, IAbaseball’s flagship show, we’ll dive into the lightening fast journey of Iowa-born native Bryce Berg, as he went from coaching at the high school level, to the professional ranks. Here’s a stat that might just blow you away, so if you want to sit down go ahead. When it comes to professional baseball, the average time it takes a player to hit the big time (MLB) ranges between four to six years if they’re lucky enough (TheBaseballCube.com). Coaches tend to have a longer tenure across the minor league ranks. For Iowa’s very own Berg, it took him just six years from being the freshman baseball coach at Kuemper Catholic to minor league hitting coach for the Minnesota Twins organization.
From his time as a player, Berg graduated from Carroll Kuemper Catholic High School in 2011 but not before batting .477 with 53 runs driven in his senior season. From there he went on to play two seasons at Iowa Central before landing at Augustana University in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. There, Berg ended up notching a .335 average with 55 runs drive in. Berg’s path them led him to Seward Nebraska as a graduate assistant on the Concordia University baseball team before becoming a full-time assistant coach in 2016. That’s where his path turned towards the professional level.
Berg was recommended to the Twins organization by Kernels co-pitching coach Mark Moriarty. From there, Berg proved himself to be a valuable asset to the Cedar Rapids Kernels and the Twins organization. Through his first full season at the helm as hitting coach, Berg led the Kernels to a High-A third-best mark of 101 home runs through early August. That has since finished the minor league season with a mark of 161 home runs, now second-best in the league. Their OPS mark of .758 ranked third best among the league following the conclusion of the 2021 campaign. That helped lead the team to a 67-53 record and a spot in the HACL Championship Series. All that is what the Twins were hoping for, especially from their hitting.