Sunday, January 4, 2015

Meet a Prospect: Johnny Barbato

When the New York Yankees traded Shawn Kelley to the San Diego Padres for prospect Johnny Barbato many around Yankeesland were up in arms, in a good way. Kelley didn't have many fans in New York, especially around the hardcore fans, even though all he did was pitch to the back of his baseball card while with the Yankees. New York fans are the best in the world in my very humble and bias opinion but we also tend to be a tough crowd, comes with the territory I guess. That same uproar came when Jack Curry reported that Barbato may need Tommy John surgery before throwing a single pitch in a Trenton Thunder or Scranton Wilkes Barre RailRiders uniform.

Barbato is just 22 years old and destined to start the season in Double-A if the elbow injury that shut him down in June does not require the surgery. Barbato stands 6'2" and throws right handed from a 185 lbs. frame with a 94-97 MPH fastball, a knuckle curve which he uses as a strike out pitch and an average changeup. The best part of Barbato is his control that saw him strikeout almost two for every one walk in his career.

Barbato likely sits ahead of Nick Rumbelow on the depth chart and side by side or right behind Danny Burawa and Branden Pinder as far as right handed pitchers go.

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)