Don't look now, but former top prospect Jose Barrero has caught fire for the Louisville Bats after being optioned to the minor leagues back in June.
Barrero was the Cincinnati Reds Opening Day shortstop, but fell on hard times. After the club made the decision to add both Matt McLain and Elly De La Cruz to the active roster, Barrero became little more than a bench-bat for manager David Bell.
But Barrero has made the best of his trip down I-71. The shortstop is riding a 16-game hitting streak and is doing everything he can to return to the major leagues.
Jose Barrero's recent surge won't be enough for Reds fans to forget his past failures.
Jose Barrero has 24 hits in his last 16 games at Triple-A Louisville. According to FanGraphs, Barrero is hitting .407/.486/.831 during that stretch and has wRC+ of 213. That's virtually unheard of.
When Elly De La Cruz, Matt McLain, and Christian Encarnacion-Strand were having that type of success down in the minors, the Reds fanbase was clamoring for the club's top prospects to be called up to the major leagues. Heck, there's even fans who want to see Noelvi Marte make his major league debut this season.
But you won't hear those same calls from the Cincinnati faithful despite Barrero absolutely hitting the cover off the ball. Reds Country will tell you that they've seen this movie before, and to a certain extent, they're right.
Barrero has been that classic Quadruple-A player; an individual who has success in Triple-A but can't put it together in the big leagues. For his career, Barrero has hit just .186/.242/.255 with 36.5-percent strikeout-rate in 139 major league appearances.
Barrero's performance is eerily similar to that of former Cincinnati Reds outfielder Aristides Aquino. The Punisher was a monster at Triple-A, but during his major league career, Aquino hit just .211/.285/.434 in 244 games.
Will the Cincinnati Reds give Jose Barrero another chance? If the 24-year-old continues to produce and survives the trade deadline, look for Barrero to make it back to the big leagues when roster expand in September. But Reds fans will be incredibly leery of trusting of Barrero's success in Triple-A.