Top Prospect #34: Jacob Barrack

At Pepperdine, Jacob Barrack worked as a starting pitcher and put up impressive numbers. The Phillies though saw a reliever in Barrack and immediately converted him to pitching out of the bullpen. He's continued to develop and embrace the role.

At 5' 11" and 165 pounds, Jacob Barrack is on the small side, especially for the kind of pitcher that the Phillies generally like to draft. His size is the primary reason that most teams stayed away from drafting him and he lasted until the 19th round of the 2004 Draft.

While he's small in stature, opponents and scouts often mention his hard-nosed attitude and how he goes right at hitters, rather than trying to finesse his way around them.

'04 Batavia 1 1 2.33 2 12 1 27.0 17 8 7 1 6 33
'04 Lakewood 0 0 5.51 0 9 0 16.1 17 11 10 3 5 14
'05 Lakewood 4 4 2.33 12 39 0 54.0 42 19 14 2 10 66
'05 Clearwater 1 1 3.72 0 7 0 9.2 10 4 4 1 4 11
Career 6 6 2.94 14 67 1 107.0 86 42 35 7 25 124

Acquired: Drafted by the Phillies in the 19th round of the 2004 Draft out of Pepperdine University.

Repertoire: Basically, Barrack throws a full compliment of fastball, curveball, change-up and slider and can throw all of them for strikes. He doesn't throw particularly hard - high 80s - but has good control over all of his pitches and doesn't put them out over the plate where hitters can get at them easily.

Pitching: In 2005, Barrack - a right-hander - held left-handed hitters to a .205 (17-for-83) average and righties hit .230 (35-for-152) against him. His velocity has been increasing in small amounts and most believe that it will top out at about the 90 mile per hour mark, since he doesn't have great size. He does have a very natural and fluid movement, which helps his cause a lot.

Projection: The Phillies are set on having Barrack work out of the bullpen and he projects as a middle-relief prospect. Since he doesn't have difficulty getting left-handers out and has a history of starting, the Phillies are hoping that he can eat up a couple innings at a time as a reliever and haven't put him on many pitch counts or worried too much about how often he pitches. Barrack has accepted the conversion and looks comfortable in his role. The Phillies probably could have moved Barrack faster than they did last season, instead of leaving him at Lakewood until the final month of the season before giving him a promotion to Clearwater. He'll likely start the year at Clearwater and again get a late-season promotion to AA Reading at some point during the 2006 season.

ETA: It figures that Barrack won't be pushed faster than his current pace. That would put him at AAA Scranton Wilkes-Barre (or wherever the Phillies AAA team is at that time) by the end of the 2007 season. From there, he would be ready for a major league call-up at just about anytime, although it likely wouldn't come until late in the 2008 season. If all goes well though and circumstances dictate, perhaps, Barrack will speed up the timetable by just a little.

Comparison: His size and pitches compare to a right-handed version of Rheal Cormier, especially the Cormier that Phillies fans saw a couple seasons ago when he was nearly lights-out. In the long-run though, Barrack will probably figure to have a better overall career than Cormier and hopefully, show more consistency than his left-handed counterpart.


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