Toronto Blue Jays News

2022 MLB Draft: Way too early draft targets for the Blue Jays first pick

TORONTO, CANADA - DECEMBER 4: President Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins pose for a photo after speaking to the media as Atkins is introduced as the new general manager of the Toronto Blue Jays during a press conference on December 4, 2015 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
TORONTO, CANADA - DECEMBER 4: President Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins pose for a photo after speaking to the media as Atkins is introduced as the new general manager of the Toronto Blue Jays during a press conference on December 4, 2015 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /
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MIAMI, FLORIDA – JUNE 22: A detail of baseballs as seen during batting practice prior to the game between the Miami Marlins and the Toronto Blue Jays at loanDepot park on June 22, 2021 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Brandon Barriera – LHP

School: American Heritage (Florida)

Age: 17         Height: 6’1″

Sticking with high school players with a Vanderbilt University commitment, southpaw Brandon Barriera is MLB.com’s third-ranked left-hander pitcher and second-ranked prep school lefty at #22 overall. In Baseball Prospect Journal’s mock draft, Dan Zielinksi III believes the Blue Jays will use their pick on Barriera if he is still on the board.

A product of American Heritage School in Plantation, Florida, Barriera is regarded as being one of the more rounded prep pitchers when it comes to his arsenal, possessing excellent control and delivery of his fastball, slider, and changeup, all of which grade at 55. Scouts believe his changeup has the ability to be a plus pitch and his fastball sits in the low 90’s but can touch the mid-90s, which is encouraging for a player who still has room to grow and develop. Since 2019, Barriera has accumulated a 2.19 ERA with a 1.07 WHIP through 17 outings and 89.2 innings pitched and is also no stranger to the Perfect Game scene as well.

Scouts are concerned that his size won’t play out to be a starter later down the road as he develops but they are encouraged by the way he commands his presence on the mound. His delivery is smooth and he has a strong sense of the strike zone on the mound, limiting walks and throwing strikes while attacking hitters.

The commitment to Vanderbilt is a bit risky considering it is a prominent program and the Blue Jays may have to go over slot value to sign the left-hander if they choose to select him at #23.

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