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.
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.