Jaime Barria, Right-Handed Pitcher
HT : 6'1
WT : 180
DOB : July 18, 1996 (19), Panama City, Panama
Throws : Right
Bats : Right
School : N/A
Acquired : Signed by Roman Ocumarez as International Free Agent, April 11, 2013
Last Year's Ranking : Unranked
Panama has never been a true hot bed for Major League talent, but the Los Angeles Angels feel they made a strong and wise investment in signing Panama-born, Jaime Barria. A sinkerball pitcher who is still in his teens, Barria has made noise for awhile, and is near becoming something much more special in the Angels farm system.
Barria makes good use of his fastball. It has some two-seam notion, and nearly comes in as a true sinker. It sits mostly in the high 80's to low 90's, touching 93 at times with some diving action.
Barria uses a trio of off-speed pitches, which all come in very raw. His curveball falls from an 11-5 angle, and has a slow pattern to it. He has a true slider, but has trouble replicating it, which leads to some high contact marks.
His changeup is still very fringe. Though is can fade at times, it all comes from his mechanics where his arm speed is not replicated. Once he begins to use the same arm speed as his fastball, it should become at least an average pitch to keep batters off balance.
Mechanically, Barria has a loose arm from a 3/4 arm slot, but a stiff body. He wraps hard to create torque in his motion, and finishes harsh to his glove side which is where the stiffness is seen. The harsh finish also creates inconsistencies in his landing spot and ability to stay closed
He does have a tendency to throw across his body, which takes away a bit of velocity, but also adds loads of deception. Though he is slightly rigid, there's a strong upside to what he could contribute in the long run.
Despite some mechanical knocks, Barria has plus command. He is a true strike thrower and puts the ball where he wants to. His off-speed, even though raw, is something he has no problem shooting into the zone and keeping the ball low while doing so.
Though there's rawness to Barria in the overall game, he has a high load of upside as a sinker pitcher who could create a large amount of ground balls. He's still growing into his athletic frame which should mean an increase in both stamina and velocity. Biggest upside? He's 19-years-old, and is making noise with his toolbox.
Scouting Report from Chris Kusiolek - Scouting Analyst for Scout.com, and Taylor Blake Ward - Senior Publisher for Scout.com
After a rough debut in his signing year that saw six runs in five innings, Barria took the Dominican by storm, posting a 4.02 ERA and 1.146 WHIP. If not for a six earned run start at the end of the season, he would have dropped his ERA to 2.77 and WHIP to 1.066. Right-handed batters struggled mightily against Barria, hitting .189 with a .477 OPS, reaching base just every 5.2 plate appearances.
This past season, the Panama-born pitcher posted a 5.06 ERA and 1.370 WHIP between both state side Rookie Ball affiliates. In the AZL, Barria never allowed more than two runs in any appearance. Though the struggles came in harsh for Barria in the hitter-friendly Orem, he found successful strides at the end of the season, highlighting his final appearance with an 11-pitch first inning while striking out the side.
Barria is very young still, which should mean a return to Rookie Ball is evident in 2016. Here, he should be able to ease into repeating his mechanics and going from an upside teen to a more polished player who matches up well against top college bats.
The thought of an upside sinkerball pitching foreign teenager will be enough for the Angels to continue focusing in on Barria for awhile. Though he has yet to see an ETA to the Majors, there's much to desire. He'll need to polish out before proving he is a future Major Leaguer, but the tools are all there.
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This article was published by Taylor Blake Ward, who serves as a Senior Publisher for Scout.com, and can be found on Twitter, @TaylorBlakeWard.