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Countdown to Arizona Diamondbacks Opening Day: D-14, Jake Barrett

Outside Brad Ziegler, Barrett was our best reliever last year. Can he reproduce that form in 2017?

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San Francisco Giants v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Darin Wallentine/Getty Images

We asked you to rank the 40-man roster along with the 16 non-roster invitees to spring training, and every day between now and the eve of Opening Day, we’ll have a profile of one of those Diamondbacks.

D minus 14: Jake Barrett

  • Date of birth: July 22, 1991
  • Ht/Wt: 6’2”, 240 lbs
  • Position: Pitcher
  • Status: 40-man roster
  • Bats/Throws: R/R
  • 2016 MLB numbers: 68 games, 59.1 innings, 3.49 ERA, 56:28 K:BB
  • SnakePit Rating: 5.76

In a season where virtually all around him in the Diamondbacks bullpen seemed to be melting down, rookie Barrett was a model of reliability. He and Brad Ziegler were the only regulars with an ERA under four, It was an impressive first season for the local kid, who went to Desert Ridge High School in Mesa, then on to ASU, before being picked by the D-backs in the third-round of the 2012 draft. There was still room for some improvement: he was one of the few Arizona pitchers to benefit from a lower than average BABIP (.261), and his FIP of 4.14 suggests he could do with increasing a K:BB ratio that came in at exactly two.

Interestingly, he came to camp this year 30 pounds lighter than he ended last season. “I was at my all-time high at the end of the season, about 265. And I talked to our strength coach and he said he wanted me down to 235-ish. I was able to get down all the way to there. It was a lot of working out, a lot of running, a healthy diet.” He’s also aware of the need to issue fewer free passes: “I just want to continue to pound the zone. A lot less walks. I’m focusing on throwing more strikes. That’s what killed me last year.” However, he had some shoulder stiffness and was only scheduled to throw off a mound for the first time on Friday. It seems likely he won’t be ready for Opening Day.

However, when that’s cleared up, he should be a useful piece in the bullpen again. If he can build on what he learned in a successful rookie campaign, he should be a solid member of the Diamondbacks relief corps for a long time to come.

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