The Runner Sports

Oakland A’s Prospect Profile: Franklin Barreto

Many Oakland A’s fans have watched the Blue Jays perform in the postseason in agony. Led by former A’s fan favorite Josh Donaldson, the Jays have taken off and made the ALCS in the last two years, while Oakland has sat on the outside looking in. No reminder needed, but Donaldson was also the MVP in 2015, while Brett Lawrie and Sean Nolin flopped for the green and gold. No doubt has the trade been a failure so far, as fans have lamented, but it is time to move on. Especially since the top prospect received in that deal is on the rise, climbing the organizational ladder on the road to the show. This trade can still pan out in the long run, and the lofty expectations are resting on the shoulders of young shortstop¬†Franklin Barreto. In his profile here at TRS, we will break down his 5 tools.

Name: Franklin Barreto
Position: SS, 2B, CF
Height: 5’10”
Weight: 190
B/T: Right/Right
ETA: 2017

Hit: Present: 40 | Future: 55 | Max: 65
Barreto has tremendous feel to hit and can spray the ball to all fields. He hasn’t struck out a ton in the minors, with a K-rate below 20% in each of the last three seasons. According to MLBfarm, he has a propensity of driving the ball to the opposite gap, demonstrating his ability to go with the pitch and not be a dead pull hitter. That said, Barreto has all the tools to become a plus hitter, but the only thing holding back his hit tool is the over-aggressive approach. Going forward, pitchers may start exploiting this approach, which could lead to an uptick in strikeouts.
Heat map courtesy of MLBfarm. Note the evenly balanced outfield spray.

Power: Present: 35 | Future: 55 | Max: 60
Barreto has plenty of raw pop, with his lightning-quick bat speed and explosive hips. He has 20-homer pop in him, but his contact-oriented approach means he might swing at pitches he has lesser chance of driving hard and settling for singles instead. He also doesn’t have too much loft in his swing, which leads to too many grounders. Still, I am enamored with his power potential, and am a bit more bullish than most. If he can add a bit more loft to his swing, he could outproduce the perhaps-conservative 20-homer estimate.

Speed: Present: 50 | Future: 50 | Max: 55
Foot speed is not one of his best tools, but he is at least an average runner and he stole 30 bases this season in AA Midland. He did get caught 17 times, though, so he will need to brush up on baserunning and cut down on the mistakes. If he does, look for him to swipe 15-20 in the bigs.

Field: Present: 45 | Future: 50 | Max: 60
The defensive tools and athleticism are definitely there for Barreto. Unfortunately, his actions are so raw that he might never put it all together. He committed 34 errors in 2015, and a much better 15 in 2016. He is getting better, but a switch to second base or center field could help.

Arm: Present: 60 | Future: 60 | Max: 60
He has a strong arm, which will play at short, third, or even the corner outfield if he needs to make the switch. It helps make up for his subpar glove.

Summary (TL;DR)
Hit: 55 | Power: 55 | Speed: 50 | Field: 50 | Arm: 60
Barreto, a shortstop by nature, is a tremendous athlete. Even though he stands at just 5’10”, Barreto packs plenty of pop in that little frame, bopping 25 doubles and 10 homers in Double-A at just 20 years old. He can run too, swiping 30 bags in 2016. His defense, while raw, is promising, with the tools to be a plus defender up the middle. He still makes a lot of errors, and he will need to clean that up moving forward. He has feel to hit to all fields and has the making of a plus hit tool, but the over-aggressive approach could be exploited and lead to more Ks moving forward. Universally praised for his plus makeup and work ethic, projects to be a solid, if not star player going forward.

Video

Johnnie Teng

Johnnie Teng

From the Bay Area, Johnnie started sportswriting on his own blog at Baseball MTJAG before writing for TRS. He has a strong passion for the sport and aspires to grow and develop as a writer or work in baseball operations someday. Follow him on Twitter @hard90hustle
Johnnie Teng
  • Rob Wegley

    Loved the profile. Great read! Keep it up.