All of the Yankees’ picks thus far in the 2022 MLB Draft have been either pitchers or outfielders. For their eight-rounder though, the team went in a different direction. Don’t get me wrong — they still took their eighth college player in eight picks, but this time, they took an infielder: Stanford’s own Brett Barrera.
Born in San Dimas, Barrera graduated from Huntington Beach High School in Orange County and has been with Stanford since 2020. He scuffled a bit in his first two years but really made an impression this past spring as a junior. After beginning 2022 as a reserve, Barrera hit his way into the lineup with an impressive .351/.394/.575 triple slash, racking up 19 doubles, 3 triples, and 11 homers in 63 games for the Cardinal.
Baseball America ranked Barrera as its 297th-best prospect in the draft and praised both his “above-average power” and his ability to “punish mistakes if they leak over the plate,” as UConn was also forced to note in the clip below.
B7 | 13, 6@BrettBarrera2 connects for a solo shot off the batter's eye in center!— Stanford Baseball (@StanfordBSB) June 12, 2022
11th of the year for Barrera.
» https://t.co/P8nYj6Z0rV#GoStanford pic.twitter.com/wrssvfo54H
Yes, Barrera is working with an aluminum bat, but not every college player can hit a ball like that. BA also remarked that the 21-year-old “loves to go the other way if a pitcher tries to stay away from him,” and that he capably covers the plate.
The problem is that despite Barrera’s talent at bat, he’s not much of a defender. I’m not quite sure why he was announced as a shortstop, as he doesn’t appear to have played there at all at Stanford and is also classified by BA as a “below-average defender” at second base — obviously lower on the defensive spectrum. So either that was a mistake or the Yankees see something in his glovework that they think they can tweak. Regardless, he’s probably not a middle infielder long-term.
If Barrera makes it to The Show, it will be through that potent bat. Thankfully for him, it’s a pretty good one to watch.
B4 | 2, 0@BrettBarrera2 goes the other way for the RBI-triple!— Stanford Baseball (@StanfordBSB) February 20, 2022
First career triple for Barrera.
» https://t.co/jww0m6p4Gg#GoStanford pic.twitter.com/1GFIIB69tr