The Arizona Diamondbacks have a few power arms in the Minor League system. Fans have heard about Archie Bradley, Aaron Blair and Braden Shipley since they have been drafted. Relief pitcher Jake Barrett was also mentioned with the big three starters and it was thought he would have been with the D-backs by now. Unfortunately, that has not worked out.
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How he came to the organization: The 24-year old right-hander was taken in the 3rd round of the 2012 Draft from Arizona State. As a freshman with the Sun Devils, Barrett immediately became one of the team’s most important relievers, striking out 43 batters in 29 innings over 28 appearances. In his sophomore, he joined the Arizona St. rotation, making a total of 14 starts. He went 7-4 with a 4.14 ERA in 76 innings of work. The strikeouts were still there as he fanned 72 while walking only 21. As a Junior, Barrett was named to the Pac-12 Conference Team as an honorable mention. He made 31 appearances, which led the team and finished with 11 saves, third most in the conference. His 13 career saves are tied for ninth in school history.
Minor League career: Barrett made 20 appearances for Single A South Bend after signing with the D-backs. After his 2013 performance, it seemed as though it was only a matter of time before he reached the Majors. In 52 games with High Class A Visalia and Double A Mobile, the fire-baller racked up 28 saves in 33 opportunities and posted a tremendous 1.21 ERA. In 52 innings, he struck out 59 while walking only 12 and allowed opposing batters to hit .197. Barrett started 2014 with Mobile and was promoted to Triple A Reno in June. This is where his career started going off track. He finished the season well with the Aces compiling 16 saves in 18 chances and pitched to a respectable 3.72 ERA in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. However, he lost a bit of his command, walking 15 batters in 29 innings while fanning 23. He began 2015 with the Aces but struggled to a 5.09 ERA before being demoted to Mobile in June. His woes continued with the Bay Bears as he blew three saves in seven chances with 34 hits allowed in 30 innings pitched.
Where he will be in 2016: Barrett began the 2015 season as the team’s #11 prospect. He has now slipped to 18. He still throws his fastball in the upper 90’s but like Bradley, control has become an issue. He will get an invitation to Spring Training, just like he has the last two seasons. The Snakes have a big three in the bullpen right now with Brad Ziegler, Andrew Chafin and Daniel Hudson pitching the big innings with Randall Delgado and Josh Collmenter also in the mix. It is hard to see Barrett starting 2016 anywhere but Reno.