Jaime Barria will “finally” get to make his major league debut at the tender age of 21. Barria has been with the Angels since he was signed out of Panama at age 16 back in 2013, and at every level he’s been one of the youngest guys in the clubhouse.
For those of you wondering about Tropeano and Heaney, the Angels also need starters for Thursday and Friday. I would think they are the top two candidates for those two games, in some order.— Jeff Fletcher (@JeffFletcherOCR) April 9, 2018
Barria’s rise has been rapid over the past few years, after spending 2013-2016 at the rookie and A ball levels. In 2017 Barria started in high A where he pitched 11 games, then AA for 12 games, before landing in Salt Lake for his final 3 starts of 2017 where he a 2.45 ERA and 11 Ks though 14.2 innings. Just this year, Barria received a spring training invite for the first time and he gave up 9 hits over 9.1 innings while striking out 12 and giving up 5 runs.
Before we get back to Barria, let’s take a look at the other options for Wednesday’s start. First, as Jeff Fletcher also noted, Bridwell needs to spend at least 10 days in the minors before being called back up, so he was out. Nick Tropeano and Andrew Heaney may be ready by Wednesday but the Angels may use them for Thursday and Friday. All this set things in motion for Barria to get that call all minor leaguers are waiting for.
Back to Barria who rates at #7 on MLB’s top prospects list for the Angels (he was #9 last year). He’s not really extraordinary at anything (except maybe control) but he is average to above average on almost everything. Barria throws three pitches: a low 90s fastball, an above average changeup, and a solid low 80s curveball. His ability to command all these pitches may bode well for his future with the team.
On Wednesday, he gets to show off his stuff on baseball’s big stage for the first time.
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