Bullpen. Arizona Diamondbacks. Those three words made fans shiver in 2013 and all of us are hopeful that a New Year brings new results. Some of that could be provided by Jake Barrett, the third round pick of the D’backs in 2012. Although he has never pitched above Double A, there is a real chance Barrett could break camp as part of the Major League roster come the end of March.
When he pitched at Arizona, the hard-throwing righty started and relieved for the Sun Devils. He became ASU’s closer in his Junior year with opponents hitting only .179 off him and an ERA of 1.62. He was then selected by the D’backs and sent to Class A South Bend where he struggled to the tune of a 5.84 ERA in 25 games. 2013 was an entirely different story. Barrett began at High Class A Visilia where he appeared in 28 games, saving 15 and striking out 37 batters in 27 1/3 innings. Double A Mobile was even better. In 24 games, covering 24 1/3 innings, Barrett was 1-1 with a ridiculous 0.36 ERA and 15 saves. He allowed 18 hits and two walks while striking out 22, holding batters to a .196 average.
According to mlb.com, Barrett compliments a high-90′s fastball with a hard slider. He also throws a changeup but it is not nearly as polished as his other two pitches. As a short reliever, Barrett doesn’t necessarily need a third pitch. He is aggressive and with his size (6-foot-2 and 230 pounds), he has the perfect mentality to be a dominant closer.
Although he has never pitched above Double A, it almost appears as though Barrett will be in Arizona early in 2014. With the acquisition of Addison Reed, it is unlikely he will be closing for the D’backs over the next year or two, barring a trade or injury. However, I also seem to think that Barrett is almost on that untouchable level with Archie Bradley. Picture Barrett closing games for Bradley. Now that is a day at the ballpark no opposing lineup wants to be in.