Still young, Barrera will be a star

Sophomore Catcher Tres Barrera up to bat in the 2014 season. 

Photo Credit: Pu Ying Huang

 

Ignore his shaky start.

Ignore that .128 batting average with one walk through his first 15 games, because since then, sophomore catcher Tres Barrera has been a stud.

Barrera hit .325 the rest of the way since his struggling start. On top of that, he threw out a ridiculous 42 percent of base stealers.

If he keeps up those numbers for a full season, he could be one of the best catchers in college, and he is just a sophomore with a few years still ahead of him. But I don’t think he’ll put up those numbers for a full season. I think they’ll be even better.

His defense is a given. He has a laser of an arm, to the point where opposing runners shouldn’t even think about going. He calls a beautiful game, calling pitches for the fourth best pitching staff in college last year.

However, it’s his offense that can elevate him into the next echelon of players and can take him from second-team freshman to one of the All-American teams. And he has the tools. He proved he could hit average. And after his season ended, he proved he could hit for power, something that UFCU Disch-Falk Field, a pitcher’s park, hid. When you look at his five homers on the year, you may not be impressed, but Barrera can boom it.

At the 2014 College Home Run Derby at TD Ameritrade park in Omaha, Nebraska, which is home of the College World Series, Barrera spanked 41 homers to claim the title while a true freshman.

But that performance at the Home Run Derby gets even more impressive than the 41 total. In the final round, where most players are usually tired out, he hit a record 25 long balls, including the first ever homeruns hit to center field at that park. Homeruns. Plural. Impressive.

Now give him a full season to get even stronger and refine that swing, and Barrera could be a 20-homer guy, something that’s not easy at The Disch.

He does have a few weaknesses still. He still strikes out way too often, something he needs to improve on. He isn’t a speedster by any stretch of the imagination. But Tres Barrera will be a star.

Mark it down.