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Prospect Graduation: RHP Jake Barrett

Barrett's 2016 season was up and down, but there was significant enough progress to believe he's a critical part of the team's future.

Barrett had a solid rookie campaign in 2016, but there is more work to be done for him to realize his potential.
Barrett had a solid rookie campaign in 2016, but there is more work to be done for him to realize his potential.
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

One of the few bright spots from the 2016 season was the development of Jake Barrett. While there were flashes of brilliance on the mound, Barrett struggled at times and down the stretch. The Diamondbacks initially drafted him as a high polish, quick to the big leagues reliever but the path slowed down at the upper minors. Barrett finally broke through in Spring Training and earned a spot on the MLB roster and stayed there for the entire year. Barrett's repertoire consists of mostly an upper 90s fastball and a wipeout slider, although he'll mix in an occasional splitter. That power repertoire makes him a future shutdown reliever in the back-end of the bullpen once he develops more consistency.

Tools (20-80):

Fastball: 65/70

Slider: 60/65

Splitter: 45/55

Command: 45/55

Pitchability: 45/60

Future Value: 60

The biggest issue for me is command. Barrett has swing and miss stuff as evidenced by a 12.3% strikeout rate, which ranked 43rd amongst qualified MLB relievers. However, he's also has the 18th highest walk rate amongst qualified relievers, so that's a problem that needs fixing. The walks are the only issue he has moving forward and if he gets ahead of more hitters the numbers should improve. Barrett is 84th in first pitch strike percentage, a number that needs to improve if he is to have his breakout 2017 season.

While I'm hesitant to make him the closer in 2017, I think he should compete for at least a late-inning role. The big right-hander has a lot of upside for the future and could be a future closer for the Diamondbacks once the consistency develops. The stuff is more than enough as is to be a reliable reliever for many years and with a good pitching coach could realize his potential to be one of the game's up and coming closers. Barrett did enough in 2016 to warrant being a lock for the 2017 bullpen even though we have a completely new regime in charge.