Former top prospect Jose Barrero seems to be a rather forgotten player within the Cincinnati Reds organization.
Infielders like Matt McLain, Elly De La Cruz, and Christian Encarnacion-Strand have all debuted, and Noelvi Marte is on the cusp of making it to the big leagues. So why talk about a has-been prospect like Barrero?
Barrero has been mashing since returning to Triple-A. The uber-talented shortstop failed to find his footing in the big leagues and was optioned back to the minors shortly after De La Cruz arrived in Cincinnati. But Reds fans shouldn't give up on Barrero just yet.
Why Reds fans should not give up on Jose Barrero just yet.
After going 2-for-22 upon first arriving back at Triple-A Louisville, Jose Barrero has caught fire. According to FanGraphs, since June 25th, Barrero is hitting .310/.395/.620 with 19 extra-base hits, 27 RBI, 11 stolen bases, and a wRC+ of 145.
Interestingly enough, Elly De La Cruz spent 38 games down at Triple-A this season before being called up to the big leagues. In those 38 games, De La Cruz hit .297/.398/.633 with 26 extra-base hits, 36 RBI, 11 stolen bases and a wRC+ of 146 according to FanGraphs.
So what, right? Sure, Barrero can hit Triple-A pitching, but he's never been able to figure it out at the major league level. That's true. This season, in 149 plate appearances, Barrero hit .218/.295/.323 with a 10.1-percent walk-rate, 29.5-percent strikeout-rate, and a wRC+ of 64.
De La Cruz, in his last 148 plate appearances, is slashing .234/.284/.409 with 6.1-percent walk-rate, 36.5-percent strikeout-rate, and wRC+ of 73. It's also fair to point out that De La Cruz is receiving consistent at-bats, whereas Barrero's ABs were very few and far between.
Now this isn't meant to disparage De La Cruz or suggest that the Reds rookie phenom is a bust. Rather it's to show that giving up on Barrero might be a rather unwise move, especially considering he's just 25 years old and under team control for another four seasons.
Not every player figures it out immediately. But for a Cincinnati Reds organization that's trying to rebuild the ball club from the ground up, it's going to take patience. Reds fans, don't give up on Jose Barrero just yet.