Earlier this year, the Reds called up Jose Barrero, formerly known as Jose Garcia, formerly known as Jose Garces, a former Iron Chef–Okay, being told he is not a former Iron Chef. Jose Barrero is a shortstop by trade, but was called up to play some outfield for the injured Nick Senzel. Nick Senzel injured? No way, Jose Barrero! Barrero ended up playing 2B (2 games); SS (9) and OF (7) in the majors, and some 3rd base in the minors, which shows the Reds are ready to play him anymore. With great reason: In Triple-A, 13/8/.306/.392/.594 in 45 games, and he’s a five-tool guy, which takes no air out of this Cuban raftee, only buoys the hype. Here’s what Prospect Itch said about him, “The team’s best position prospect found himself blocked by a career-best stretch from Kyle Farmer, so much so that he split time between short and center field while he was with the big club in September. That’s okay. Barrero can handle either spot, and while he might not be a gold-glove-level defender in center the way he was on the dirt, his physical gifts will help him improve quickly as he goes along. Cincinnati doesn’t have anyone else there, so Barrero has a good shot to open 2022 as the captain of that outfield. He came into his own on offense in 2021–his fourth season in the states after signing out of Cuba, slashing .303/.380/.539 with 19 HR and 16 SB across 85 games in the minors (40 at AA and 45 at AAA). We’ve long been Barrero believers here at Razzball and can’t wait to see how his power plays in the Great American Drive to Deep Left, and Grey’s an idiot.” Okay, end part wasn’t cool, but I agree with Itch. I love me some Jose Barrero. So, what can we expect from Jose Barrero for 2022 fantasy baseball?
First off, let’s tackle the unknowable stuff as I pretend to know it. Kyle Farmer has “2021 was a career year for me, don’t call me *uck Farmer that’s Buck and we’re not related, as far as I know” written all over him. That Kyle Farmer got 483 ABs last year might be one of the more puzzling moves of last year, that wasn’t dwelled on by anyone, because no one cared. It wasn’t even a great 483 ABs; he hit .263 with 16 homers and 2 steals. Okay, leave the barn door open and hopefully Farmer moseys out of it. But even if Barrero isn’t given the shortstop job, as hinted at about one sentence ago, he will play somewhere. Adding reinforcements to my theory, Jose Barrero was an international signing, so what exactly are the Reds doing by suppressing him? On Roster Resource at FanGraphs, they have Naquin, Farmer, and Freidl as starters. I’d guess Barrero is in front of them all, but at least two of them. I wouldn’t be shocked if Barrero is ahead of Senzel at this point. So, the cheap-as-ass Reds are spending $5 million on Barrero to stash him? Is that a joke, because it ain’t funny.
Here is Joe Barrero shaking a leg:
José Barrero ropes a ball to the wall for a stand-up RBI triple. pic.twitter.com/xbjyAYotKU
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) October 2, 2021
Here is Jose Barrero going mollywhop with the boomstick:
The Reds shortstop goes yard for the first homer of the Futures Game.
— Baseball America (@BaseballAmerica) July 11, 2021
Ya know who he reminds me of? This is gonna be a callback to one of my first true loves: Alex Rios. Who also kinda changed his name. He was present tense for a while with Alexis Rios. Now he’s Alexwas. Alex Rios was a bit more up-and-down, and a lanky-lookseehere, but something about Barrero gives me the same vibe. I loved Alex Rios (maybe more than I should’ve), and Jose Barrero could have similar type drool accumulations. Barrero, like Rios, reads to me like a 25/15/.280 guy when everything connects. That could be this year. For 2022, I’ll give Jose Barrero projections of 61/18/68/.261/11 in 466 ABs with a chance for much more. Honestly, I think I’m being conservative here.