Franklin Barreto continues to make an impression with the Triple-A Nashville Sounds with an OPS well above .900.
2014 Vancouver Canadians shortstop Franklin Barreto is getting closer to reaching the big leagues. It was thought that Barreto was getting called up to Oakland when shortstop Marcus Semien was recently placed on the disabled list with a broken right wrist but A’s general manager David Forst told the San Jose Mercury News that he needs more time to develop at Triple-A where he is playing both second and short.
The A’s number one prospect according to Baseball America recorded his first four-hit game at the Triple-A level for the Nashville Sounds April 20 to snap out of a 10-game funk that saw him go 6-for-33 with 14 strikeouts. Sounds hitting coach Eric Martins told MiLB.com that pitchers had been working Barreto inside.
“[Pitchers] were starting to come in on him a little bit, which was making him set his sights out a little further without letting the ball get deep, so he was having trouble recognizing pitches. We kind of worked on him getting back and getting down early and seeing the ball a little longer.”
Martins praised Barreto’s bat speed and ability to make contact and the 5-foot-10 righthanded hitter continued to emerge from his slump with his third home run of the season April 21 and is currently on a six-game hitting streak that included another three-hit effort Monday night. The 21 year-old – acquired by Oakland in the Josh Donaldson deal – has an on-base-plus slugging percentage of .949 with two triples and a double to go along with his three homers.
Tim Locastro has compiled six multi-hit games with the Double-A Tulsa Drillers.
Barreto’s 2014 Vancouver teammate and middle infield partner Tim Locastro is also off to a quick start with the bat at Double-A in the Los Angeles Dodgers system. He enjoyed a four-hit night one day before Barreto’s, his sixth multi-hit effort of the season with the Tulsa Drillers. His first home run of the season April 14. The 24 year-old native of Auburn, New York is hitting .322/.379/.475 so far.
Locastro’s claim to fame in Vancouver was his ability to take one for the team as he was hit by a pitch 32 times in a C’s uniform. He was plunked another 32 times with the Lansing Lugnuts and the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes in 2015. The 6-foot-1 righthanded hitter endured just seven fewer bruises from pitched baseballs in 2016 between Rancho and Tulsa but he has been hit by wayward offerings four times already this season.
Locastro – a 13th round pick of the Blue Jays in 2013 – has spent time at second base, shortstop and center field so far with the Drillers but has had a tough time at the six spot with five errors.
Locastro and former Vancouver teammate, righthander Chase De Jong, were traded by the Blue Jays on July 2, 2015 in exchange for international bonus pool money that the Jays put towards the signing of Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
Dawel Lugo homered four times over his first four games with the Double-A Jackson Generals.
Another former C’s infielder making a strong statement with the lumber is 2013 shortstop Dawel Lugo. The number two prospect of the Arizona Diamondbacks according to Baseball America belted four home runs over his first four games, including this one with the Jackson Generals. Though the 22 year-old has hit just .256 over his last 10 games, his batting line is still an impressive .319/.373/.536 over 16 games this season.
The 6-foot-0 Lugo has spent most of his time at third base this season but has seen action at short and has made just one error at each position so he’s off to a good start with the glove as well. He has been compared to current St. Louis Cardinals third baseman/shortstop Jhonny Peralta.
Lugo was traded by the Blue Jays to the Diamondbacks for shortstop Cliff Pennington in 2015. He was signed by the Blue Jays as a free agent in 2011.