by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
The Oakland A’s were dealt a significant blow with the injury to Marcus Semien, who will miss at least a few months due to surgery to correct a broken wrist (early reports have him being reevaluated in 6 weeks, meaning even if he was cleared he’d need rehab/strengthening time before returning). A potential impact option entering the season, let’s take a quick look at the in-house options to see if there is any potential value:
He drew the start yesterday, hitting ninth, and went 0-2 with 2 K. The veteran has seen time in the Majors since 2008, though has never had more than 279 PA in a season (2010). That alone should tell us all we need to know, but consider his .227/.298/.366 slash with 40 HR and 16 SB for a moment…
He’s a place holder, and not a very good one. If he’s getting the bulk of the AB, even for just a few weeks, it’s a bad thing.
He was summoned to take Semien’s spot on the roster. He made his MLB debut last season but struggled, hitting .235 with 1 HR in 55 PA. He was a bit better than that at Triple-A, though he hit .258 with 14 HR and 5 SB while showing poor plate discipline:
- Strikeout Rate – 23.2%
- Walk Rate – 5.4%
Never one to draw many walks, there isn’t elite speed and he could struggle to generate power (the 14 HR came in the Pacific Coast League). He could catch fire and be a productive option for a few weeks, but it’s hard to expect him to produce long-term.
One of the top prospects in the game, he’s gotten off to a strong start at Triple-A (.310, 2 HR, 8 RBI). That doesn’t mean there aren’t questions, including the A’s themselves squashing any expectations of a promotion as per this tweet from Joe Stiglich:
Forst says Barreto not under consideration right now for promotion.”when right time comes we’ll consider it. That time is not now.”
Of course what do we expect them to say? They aren’t going to promote him before the Super 2 deadline, so they can keep his salary down and delay his arbitration eligibility. Is that when the time will be right, though?
Barreto has struggled with strikeouts this season (30.6%), though it is a short sample and hasn’t been an issue before (17.8% at Double-A last season). A year removed from a 10/30 season, he has the potential to make an instant impact upon arriving. That time could be here within weeks, so stashing him now would be the right decision to make. Keep in mind that the A’s didn’t say he was never going to be an option, just that he wasn’t an option today.
Sources – MILB.com, Fangraphs
Make sure to check out our Preseason 2017 Prospect Rankings:
|Top 50 Prospects||1-50|
|Right Handed Pitchers:||1-10||11-20|
|Left Handed Pitchers:||1-10|