If the Oakland A’s are going to salvage the disastrous Josh Donaldson trade, Franklin Barreto needs to step up this season.
When the Oakland A’s shipped Josh Donaldson off to the Toronto Blue Jays, the anticipation was that they were receiving plenty of pieces for their future. Kendall Graveman and Sean Nolin were expected to be a key parts of the rotation for years to come. The duo of Brett Lawrie and Franklin Barreto were expected to solidify the middle infield, giving the A’s a solid core to build around.
Now, only Barreto remains. Lawrie spent a year in Oakland before being dealt to the White Sox. Graveman was a solid arm, but has departed for Seattle. Nolin made six appearances and is now set to pitch in Japan.
Once a consensus top 100 prospect for four consecutive years, Barreto has hardly lived up to his billing. He has a total of 209 plate appearances in the majors, leading to a .189/.220/.378 batting line. While he has hit nine homers, Barreto has also drawn just eight walks while striking out 85 times.
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And yet, he is the last chance to salvage the Donaldson trade. Barreto had entered spring training in a four way battle for the starting second base role, and was considered a candidate for a platoon at the keystone with Tony Kemp. However, Barreto has been miserable against lefties, hitting at a .147/.190/.320 clip in 79 plate appearances with the platoon ‘advantage.’
For his part, Barreto was performing well in spring training when play was stopped. He had a .306/.359/.528 batting line in his 35 plate appearances, hitting four doubles and two triples. Barreto had even displayed a better batting eye, drawing three walks and striking out eight times.
In the end, however, those numbers do not matter. Barreto needs to perform during the regular season in order to live up to his former billing. At just 24 years old, he still has that chance to be a star. But this may be his last chance with Oakland, as he is out of minor league options.
Franklin Barreto is the last piece left from the Josh Donaldson trade. If the A’s are going to salvage that deal, he will need to finally live up to his potential.