17 April, 2006

MLB debut - Josh Barfield

San Diego's rookie second baseman, Josh Barfield, is one a couple of sons of Major Leaguers to make debuts this year. Josh's dad, Jesse, had 12 seasons with Toronto and the Yankees in the 80s and into the 90s. His best season was 1986 when he went .289/.368/.559 and led the AL with 40 homers. His production thereafter slipped steadily and he was out of the game after 1992. He still finished with 241 careers homers.

Barfield senior was a No.4/5/6 outfielder. Barfield junior projects as a good power source from second base. He started his first game in the 8 hole, but could move up the order as the season progresses.

Slated to attend Baylor University, the Padres spent a 4th round pick on Barfield in the 2001 draft. He signed for $400,000, showing either foresight of foolishness given Barfield's lack of playing time at High School. But, for once the gamble paid off as Barfield put up three solid seasons at rookie, low A then Lake Elsinore in High A. However, in 2004 he went backwards at Mobile in AA. His average slipped 90 points, though Barfield continue to show developing power. And, in 2005, he pulled his game around at AAA with a solid .310/.370/.450 season. That was good enough to keep him top of the Padres prospect pile and paved the way for inheriting the second base job this season from Mark Loretta.

Barfield has a long swing and hits to all fields. He'll strike out a ton, but can hit for average and power. Scouting books say Barfield has improved his range at second, but is only average defensively.

In his debut against the Giants on opening day, Barfield went 1 for 4 with a run, as did opponent Barry Bonds, in San Diego's 6-1 victory. Barfield added a strike out. He handled three chances flawlessly.

Baseball Cube


Post a Comment

<< Home