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Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 6: Brandon Barriera

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Photo credit:ABBIE PARR/AP
Ryley Delaney
1 month ago
Today’s prospect is an intriguing left-handed pitcher who still hasn’t turned 20.
This is Blue Jays Nation’s annual pre-season list, in which I’ll take a look at the top 50 prospects in the organization. We’ll look at the player’s stats, my observations, and other publications’ scouting reports if available.
Let’s take a look at Brandon Barriera.

Getting to know Brandon Barriera…

Position: Starting pitcher
Throws: Left
Born: March 4, 2004
Acquired: 1st-round, 2022 draft (Blue Jays)
2023 Team: Single-A Dunedin
Previous Ranking: 7
Selected with the 20th-overall pick in the 2022 draft, Barriera made his professional debut in the 2023 season. Mainly pitching with the Single-A Dunedin Blue Jays, the 19-year-old had a 4.42 ERA and a 3.26 FIP, along with a 31.5 K% and an 11 BB%.
According to stat cast data from Prospects Live, Barriera has a three pitch-mix, a fastball, a changeup, and a slider. The fastball averaged a tick under 93 mph and had a 24.7 whiff%, while the slider he threw 127 times sits in the low-80s and had a 49.1 whiff%. Barriera’s changeup was only thrown 13 times and didn’t generate a single whiff.
Barriera ranks as Fangraphs’ 10th-best Blue Jays prospect as well as Baseball America‘s and Scott Mitchell’s fourth-best Blue Jays prospect. Fangraphs note that Barriera missed a lot of the 2023 due to injury (elbow and bicep). Due to two injuries, his velocity dropped and his conditioning was a point of concern (but seems to be improved upon heading into 2024.). They note that his ceiling is still interesting, even with some concerns in his first season as a professional.
Mitchell reports that some believe the conditioning was the cause of the poor performance, but also notes that he’s already looking better. The arm injuries in 2023 are concerning, and the 2024 season will be a big one for Barriera.
It’s likely that the 19-year-old will start the season with the Single-A Blue Jays once again. If he has success like Tiedemann did in 2022, it wouldn’t be all too surprising to see Barriera rise up the minor league ladder.

In case you missed it…

Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown: The honourable mentions
Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 16: Alex De Jesus
Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 15: Dahian Santos
Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 14: Enmanuel Bonilla
Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 13: Tucker Toman
Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 12: Landen Maroudis
Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 11: Juaron Watts-Brown
Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 10: Damiano Palmegiani
Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 9: Leo Jimenez
Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 8: Addison Barger
Blue Jays Nation’s Pre-Season Prospect Countdown – No. 7: Alan Roden

As always, you can follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Threads @Brennan_L_D.

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