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2020 Angels in review: Franklin Barreto

Utility man acquired from the A’s for Tommy La Stella

San Diego Padres v Los Angeles Angels Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

The Angels took a chance on Franklin Barreto, hoping a change of scenery would help the former top prospect who has experienced mostly failure so far in the majors. But an injury interrupted his debut with Anaheim.

Barreto was the return from Oakland at the trade deadline in August for free-agent-to-be Tommy La Stella. Barreto was a top-100 prospect in all of baseball for four straight seasons, ranked highly by Baseball America, MLB Pipeline, and Baseball Prospectus every year from 2015-18.

But in parts of four years in the majors, Barreto has hit just .175/.207/.342. Of the 599 major league hitters with at least 200 plate appearances from 2017-20, Barreto’s 45 wRC+ ranks 589th. In 2020, that wRC+ was -48 with the A’s and Angels combined, thanks to going 2-for-27 with 15 strikeouts. I didn’t realize that a wRC+ could be negative.

Barreto was 0-for-10 with the A’s, mostly limited to pinch-running duties in Oakland. But after the trade, the Angels tried using him as a utility man, starting at four different positions (second base, left field, shortstop, and second base) in his six games with Anaheim, going 2-for-17.

In a game on September 6, Barreto dislocated his shoulder while stealing second base, and missed the rest of the year. He had surgery in mid-September.

2020 particulars

Age: 24

Stats: 2-for-17 (.118) with Angels

Salary: $568,500

Game of the year

Barreto got one of his two Angels hits with an RBI single on September 6 against the Astros, though that was also the same inning he dislocated his shoulder while stealing a base, ending his season.

Roster status

Barreto has two years, 31 days of service time, and is out of options.