Baseball America Top 10 Blue Jays Prospects: No. 4, LHP Brandon Barriera

Jul 17, 2022; Los Angeles, CA, USA;  Brandon Barriera reacts after he was selected by the Toronto
Jul 17, 2022; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Brandon Barriera reacts after he was selected by the Toronto / Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

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Baseball America posted its top prospects rankings around the league (subscription required) and we have been breaking down the list one day at a time.

So far, we've gone through the Toronto Blue Jays No. 5-10 prospects heading into the 2023 season.

No. 10 Nate Pearson (story link)

No. 9 Hayden Juenger (story link)

No. 8 Cade Doughty (story link)

No. 7 Tucker Toman (story link)

No. 6 Orelvis Martinez (story link)

No. 5 Addison Barger (story link)

Today, we move on to the No. 4 prospect in the Blue Jays system, Brandon Barriera.

Brandon Barriera. . 4. . . . LHP. 39

Barriera snaps the string of position players we've had recently and is the first (but not last) left-handed pitching prospect on the list.

Barriera, 18, was the first-round pick out of high school by the Jays in last year's MLB Draft and instantly became a fan favorite by saying in his post-selection interview that the 22 teams that passed him up were "going to regret this".

Let's hope he's correct in that statement but it says a lot that this southpaw, who didn't even make any appearances in the Jays' organization after being drafted last year, is ranked all the way up in the No. 4 spot.

Barriera has a long and lean build with a Chris Sale-esque look and delivery. His fourseam fastball comfortably sits in the 92-95mph range with some cut action while touching 98-99 when he's on his A-game. However, it is huge, sweeping slider that is widely considered to be his best pitch.

The slider sits in the low-80's and "regularly elicitis ugly swings". He pairs the heater and slider with a mid-70's curveball and mid-80's changeup that both project to be average pitches at the big league level.

It is worth mentioning that starting pitchers don't typically find long-term success with only two strong pitches in the toolbox. Barriera will need to develop his changeup as he matures if he hopes to stick in the starting rotation down the line. If he can't, his fastball and slider would prove to be lethal weapons as a late-inning reliever.

BA says that Barriera possesses the stuff to blossom into a mid-rotation "or better" starting pitcher if all goes right for him.

On the 80-grade scouting grades that BA provides, Barriera's line reads like this:

Fastball: 60

Curveball: 50

Slider: 65

Changeup: 50

Control: 50

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