San Francisco Giants: Musical Chairs Offseason Continues with the Addition of Jake Barrett
By Jeff Young
The John Andreoli era may very well be over. The San Francisco Giants traded for relief pitcher Jake Barrett, and designated Andreoli for assignment to clear a roster spot.
Barrett was recently designated for assignment by the Arizona Diamondbacks. He had been a 3rd round pick out of Arizona State University by the Diamondbacks in 2012.
Barrett is a hard-throwing, right-handed pitcher with control problems. Similar to Derek Law, Barrett had a promising season in 2016.
However, that promise faded quickly. Barrett has struggled at the major league level over the past 2 seasons. However, the past 2 seasons only include 34 major league innings, so that is still in small sample territory.
Compared to Law, Barrett could be seen as incrementally better. The type of strategy Farhan Zaidi seems to be pursuing this offseason:
Barrett features a fastball that sits at 95 miles per hour, and complements this with a slider and split-finger. Pitchers who throw that hard tend to get plenty of looks, so it is no surprise if the Giants view Barrett as having a higher ceiling than a pitcher like Derek Law.
Despite his struggles with command, Barrett has proven to be an effective reliever. With the Diamondbacks AAA affiliate, Barrett posted a 2.87 ERA in 2018. This includes a 11.3 K/9 and 4.9 BB/9 ratio.
He could be considered effectively wild. The walk rate is high, but he may be able to pitch out of jams with plenty of swings-and-misses.
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In addition to his command problems, Barrett has a proneness for giving up home runs. He has posted a 1.4 HR/9 with the Diamondbacks, but this is much higher than his 0.6 HR/9 in the minor leagues.
The high homerun rate could be a product of pitching in the hitter-friendly confines of Chase Field. A move to Oracle Park may see an improvement in this category.
"Editors note: The San Francisco Giants will retain Andreoli, and Derek Law, who both cleared waivers after the drafting of this story."
San Francisco Giants pitching coach Curt Young has an extensive history of working with young pitchers. Given Barrett’s power fastball and repertoire, this could be Young’s next project.
The Giants still have a quality bullpen. Most of the unit from last season will be returning. However, an area in which the bullpen could improve is its collective fastball velocity.
By adding Barrett, the Giants are certainly improving in this area. They could still look to add more velocity to the bullpen as Will Smith, Reyes Moronta, and Ray Black are considered the only power pitchers.
Zaidi has a history of making low-cost improvements. And, Barrett offers enough intrigue. A change of scenery could certainly bode well for Barrett, and may even give him the opportunity to realize that intrigue.