Blue Jays: No. 2 prospect Brandon Barriera officially added to Florida Complex League
According to his transaction log on MILB.com, Toronto Blue Jays propsect Brandon Barriera has officially been added to the Florida Complex League by the organization.
This is an important move because the Jays are now going to get their first up close and personal look at the man who MLB.com says is the No. 2 prospect in the entire organization.
The 19-year-old southpaw was drafted in the first round by the Jays in the 2022 MLB Draft directly out of high school. The very first line he said in his post-selection interview was that every team who passed him up "is going to regret this."
On the mound, Barriera has a Chris Sale-esque delievery and throws one heck of a fastball, much like fellow lefty prospect Ricky Tiedemann. Both Tiedemann and Barriera were not immediately assigned to a minor league team after their being drafted by the Jays.
Barriera's fourseamer sits comfortably in the 92-95mph range but has reportedly reached as high as 98 or 99 on the radar gun. Alongside the fastball, he has a low-80s slider, mid-70s curveball and mid-80s changeup, so he has an extensive pitch repertoire at his fingertips. His slider regularly elicits "very ugly swings" per scouting reports and seems to be his major out pitch.
As we know, starting pitchers have a tough time getting by with only two solid pitches. Barriera's repertoire needs to be worked on in his early development so he can bring the curveball and/or changeup up to speed with the rest of his arsenal. Fortunately, he is extremely young and still has plenty of time to adjust.
In Baseball America's (who named him the No. 4 Jays prospect) scouting report of the hurler, they point to his stuff as "mid-rotation or better" as he matures.
Should he develop anywhere close to what the projection systems say he will, it'll be interesting to see him atop the rotation alongside Tiedemann in the long-term picture. Two lethal lefties in the rotation will never not be a good thing to have.
Realistically, there's no reason we'll see Barriera on a big league mound until at least 2025, but it's exciting to see him formally assigned to a team for the 2023 season as this signals that we are officially moving closer to seeing what he's made of.