Barreto, who went 1-for-4 with a grand slam home run, five RBI overall and a walk in a win over Triple-A Nashville on Monday, is slashing .286/.381/.538 with 11 homers and 42 RBI across 64 games with Triple-A Las Vegas. Barreto's line is also partly comprised of 18 doubles, four triples, 11 stolen bases and 58 runs, making the 23-year-old one of the Aviators' most well-rounded contributors. Barreto has logged a pair of relatively brief majors stints over the last two seasons, but he's found consistent contact against big-league arms to be especially elusive. Another late-season promotion this season is certainly a possibility, although Jurickson Profar, the keeper of the keystone for the Athletics, seems to slowly be figuring things out at the plate after an abysmal start to the season.
Barreto was optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas on Thursday. Barreto looked to have made the team even after the Japan Series (he did not record an at-bat) until the Kendrys Morales deal Monday. Unfortunately for the 23-year-old, the deal pushed him down the pecking order. Barreto hit .351 in Cactus League play with a .429 on-base percentage, so if he keeps up the good work he'll remain one of the top guys on the callup list.
Barreto will likely open the season in the minors after the A's acquired Kendrys Morales from the Blue Jays, Julian McWilliams of The Athletic reports. Barreto was poised to break camp with the A's before Wednesday's trade. Now Morales will cover first base in Matt Olson's (hand) absence, pushing Jurickson Profar back to everyday duties at the keystone and leaving no playing time for the 23-year-old Barreto, who will head to Triple-A for everyday opportunities for the time being.
Barreto will travel with the Athletics for the season-opening series against the Mariners in Japan, Martin Gallegos of The San Jose Mercury News reports. Barreto is starting at second base in Sunday's split-squad game against the White Sox, but his transition to the outfield this spring is what's drawn heavy praise from manager Bob Melvin. The 23-year-old has been impressive at the plate as well as he is 11-for-29 (.379) with four doubles and a home run through 12 games. Barreto was a likely candidate to begin the season at Triple-A Las Vegas, but his performance this spring and increased versatility appear to have him on track to crack the Opening Day roster.
Barreto, who went 2-for-2 with a double and a run in the Athletics' 6-3 Cactus League win over the Rockies on Friday, is impressing manager Bob Melvin with his work in the outfield, Jane Lee of MLB.com reports. "You watch the drills and watch him do his work in the outfield, he's a natural at it," Melvin said. "When you're that athletic, it gives you some options." Barreto is actually impressing with both the bat and glove thus far in Cactus League play. The 23-year-old is now hitting .500 (8-for-16) with three doubles and only two strikeouts in spring training, with a successful winter ball stint in Venezuela (.358 average, .927 OPS over 203 plate appearances) clearly having helped Barretto maintain his timing at the plate throughout the offseason. However, his transition from second base to the outfield is drawing plenty of raves as well, with Melvin noting that Barreto has jumped into the process without any trepidation. Barreto played center field in Friday's game after manning left Thursday, and the plan is to continue moving him around the outfield before he likely starts the season at Triple-A Las Vegas.