by Charlie O. Mallonee
The Oakland Athletics will be looking for prospects just like the one who is in out minor league spotlight this week as they move veteran players to playoff contenders between now and August 1st. Infielder Franklin Barreto is ranked the number one prospect in the A’s minor league system and he was acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays as a part of the Josh Donaldson trade that also brought Kendall Graveman to the Athletics.
Barreto was originally signed by Toronto for $1.45 million in 2012. Barreto began to catch everyone’s attention in 2014 when he led the Northwest League in multiple categories. He had a .311 batting average and .384 on base percentage. Barreto was seen as a major piece of the Donaldson trade.
After joining the A’s organization, Barreto was assigned to Advanced Class-A Stockton in the California league. He immediately found success at the plate hitting .302 with an OBP of .333. Barreto had 13 home runs and 22 doubles in 90 games, but his season was cut short when he suffered a wrist contusion in late July that put him on the disabled list for the rest of the year.
The scouts rank Barreto as an above average hitter with average power but some see him with more than average power. He is rated as a average runner. Barreto is said to have an outstanding arm but is considered to be a below average fielder.
Barreto is currently assigned to Double-A Midland of the Texas League. He has appeared in 87 games and currently has a .258 batting average with a .321 on base percentage and a .387 slugging percentage. Barreto has 17 doubles, two triples, seven home runs and 32 RBI. He 22-for-32 in the stolen base department. Based on his current hitting statistics, Barreto will probably be looking at spending at least the first half of the 2017 season back Midland.
Barreto has also struggled defensively. His original position was shortstop but there was a problem with to many errors being committed. At Midland this season, they have used Barreto at second base and at shortstop. He has committed three errors in 28 games at second and 14 errors in 56 games at short. With shortstop Marcus Semien in the majors and Triple-A All-Star shortstop Chad Pinder at Nashville, Barreto’s future may be at second base or at a corner spot in the outfield.
Barreto was selected to the Texas League South Division All-Star Team. He played second base and hit a double in the game that the South Division won 8-3.