The Pittsburgh Pirates announced that they have claimed 27-year-old right-handed pitcher Jake Barrett from the San Francisco Giants. To make room on the 40-man roster, Chad Kuhl (pictured above) was placed on the 60-day injured list. Kuhl will miss all of 2019 while recovering from Tommy John surgery.
Barrett has pitched in the majors during each of the last three seasons with the Arizona Diamondbacks. He was a regular in their bullpen as a rookie in 2016, making 68 appearances, with a 3.49 ERA, a 4.14 FIP in 59.1 innings, with a 1.26 WHIP and 56 strikeouts. He saw just 35 total appearances the last two years and posted a 5.00 ERA in 27 innings in 2017 and 5.14 in seven innings last year.
Barrett had an impressive showing in Triple-A last year by posting a 2.87 ERA in 53.1 innings with Reno, which plays at an extremely hitter-friendly park in a hitter-friendly league. For reference, the team ERA was 5.18 last year and 5.19 the year before.
Baseball America rated Barrett as a top 30 prospect for the Diamodbacks for four years, topping out at #11 in 2013. He was throwing mid-to-high 90s at that time, with an above average slider and a changeup that needed work. His average fastball in the majors was 96 MPH during his first two years, then dropped to 94.6 last year. He’s had a heavy fastball/slider approach in the majors, rarely going to changeup. He has one minor league option left.
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.
When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.