Holding down a bullpen spot for the Arizona Diamondbacks, home-state product Jake Barrett has already pitched in three of Arizona's six regular season games. Let's take a look and see what he might become.
From the 2016 Baseball Prospect Book:
Jake Barrett, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks
Bats: R Throws: R HT: 6-3 WT: 230 DOB: July 22, 1991
2013: Grade B-; 2014: Grade B-; 2015: Grade B-
Jake Barrett opened 2015 as the closer for Triple-A Reno. Although he collected 11 saves in 13 opportunities he was demoted to Double-A Mobile in late June and remained there the remainder of the year, mainly in a setup role. Barrett at his best has a 94-99 MPH fastball and a hard slider, but his stuff didn’t seem as crisp last year and his command remains erratic. I’ve liked him quite a bit in the past as a relief prospect but his stock has declined with the stagnant season. Grade C+.
Barrett was originally drafted in the third round in 2012 from Arizona State University. He's been a closer at every level in the minors, collecting 78 saves in his career with a 3.36 ERA and a 182/75 K/BB in 185 innings. Barrett was impressive in spring training (11.1 innings, 0.79 ERA, 15/1 K/BB) so it was logical for him to come north with the Diamondbacks for the regular year.
He's always been known as a hard-thrower, hitting 98-99 at his best and consistently in the 90s; he's averaging 94 so far in the majors. He generally commands the fastball well but his secondary pitches were erratic in the minors. He has a slider which is plus on the right day and will occasionally mix in a pretty good change-up, but his ability to locate these pitches fluctuates. It wasn't a problem in spring training but in his early major league exposure this week he hasn't been quite as sharp.
Barrett has been viewed as a potential closer in the past but middle relief seems the best role right now. If his secondaries reach their maximal potential he could pick up some saves eventually.