Blue Jays: Three Intriguing Infield Prospects To Watch
By Mat Germain
Oct 4, 2015; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays hat and glove lay in the dugout against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
The Blue Jays stock of infield prospects is better than most know. We provide three to remember to follow in 2016 and beyond.
2B Deiferson Antonio (Mundaray) Barreto, 20 years old, Bluefield
- 5’10” 165 lbs, Bats Right, Signed as an international free agent Sept 23rd 2011, from VE
You guessed right, Deiferson is Franklin’s older brother and seems to have some of the same hitting ability when it comes to getting the bat on the ball. With the way he’s hitting the ball and how well he’s playing at 2B, it isn’t out of the question that he makes an MLB club as a starting 2B someday. He’d still have to show a lot more pop in his bat to do so, there’s no doubting that.
Just to get your attention right off the bat, Barreto managed a .344/.382/.375 line during the last 64 PA and managed a .314/.360/.405 line vs RHP in 2015. While his performance against LHP is still a work in progress, he’s shown plenty of hitting ability to warrant a promotion to Lansing and his first full season in pro ball.
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Other things I like about Barreto’s 2015 season include:
- Hitting better vs Older pitching (.318/.375/.409) than younger pitching (.263/.276/.386)
- Only struck out 25 times with 206 plate appearances
- Played 17 games at 3B in 2015, and has 7 games experience at SS, increasing his versatility
- Continued to work on his game (.297 avg) this winter in the Australian Baseball League
- Led the Bluefield squad in average and was second in total bases (76)
- Managed a 110 wRC+ which is a great indication of his being above-average at the plate
Deiferson is also a great defender at 2B, showing a well above-average RF/9 and RF/G at 2B (5.62 and 5.03 in 2015). Just to put those statistics into context, if he replicated those in MLB (as unrealistic as that is) he would have led the league in RF/9 and been second to D.J. LeMahieu in RF/G. While playing 2B for the Jays this season, Ryan Goins managed a 4.73 RF/9 and 4.27 RF/G. In short, Barreto’s impressive defensively speaking. However, he still needs to sharpen his defensive play at 3B and SS to be considered a utility option at this point.
If he can at least show us gap-to-gap power and continue to hit for average, there are some clubs that would probably take a shot on him and see how far he can take things. The thing to remember most is to monitor his progress as he transitions to full season ball and see how it impacts his overall performance. He’s expected to begin the season in Lansing.
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