Oakland Athletics: The battle for second base
By David Hill
Once considered the Oakland Athletics’ second baseman of the future, it is now or never for Franklin Barreto.
A consensus top 100 prospect from 2015 through 2018, and a part of the ill-fated Josh Donaldson trade, Barreto has proven that he can handle AAA. In his 1285 plate appearances in Nashville, he has produced a .285/.356/.505 batting line, hitting 64 doubles and 53 homers while stealing 35 bases.
However, that production has not followed Barreto to the majors. In three brief stints from 2017 through 2019, he has looked completely overmatched. Over the course of his 209 major league plate appearances, he has produced a horrendous .189/.220/.378 batting line, hitting seven doubles and nine homers. Even more concerning, Barreto has just seven walks and 85 strikeouts, giving him the appearances of a Quad-A player.
For his part, Barreto has performed well in spring training. Prior to the shutdown, he had produced a .306/.359/.528 batting line in 39 plate appearances, hitting four doubles and two triples. Perhaps this is the beginning of the long awaited breakout? Or is this just a blip on the radar?
Franklin Barreto also has the ability to play short and bats right handed. It is possible he could emerge as part of a platoon with Tony Kemp at second for the Oakland Athletics. It is also possible that his days in the A’s organization are numbered.