Ranking the top 10 most important young players to the Blue Jays’ future

Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. / Mark Blinch/GettyImages
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No. 9 - LHP Brandon Barriera

It’s hard to imagine that a young player out of high school would already be considered a difference maker in the coming years to a big league club, but Brandon Barriera has that huge potential to do so, despite only beginning his professional career just this year. Barriera was the Jays’ first round pick, 23rd overall from the 2022 MLB Draft. He possesses a strong three-pitch mix with his fastball that could reach the high 90s along with late movement, to go along with a sweeping slider and a mid 80s changeup to throw batters off guard. Together with good command and control of his pitches, it projects him to be a solid mid to front-end starter later in the big leagues.

In particular, Barriera had a strong debut with the Jays’ Single-A affiliate Dunedin Blue Jays in his first professional game of his career, going four innings and giving up no runs, no hits, one walk and six strikeouts in just 49 pitches. It may be a while before he finally makes his eventual MLB debut down the road, but together with Ricky Tiedemann, the two pitchers will provide the Jays’ organization with homegrown, never seen before strength and depth from the left side in terms of pitching for the near future.