Washington’s 6th rounder in 2016, Barrera is a defensively-oriented catcher with glovework and game-calling that give him a shot at the big leagues. He was a Carolina League all-star this year on the strength of his glove, and the Nationals sent him to the Arizona Fall League after playing all of 2018 with Advanced A Potomac.
His 6’0’’ and 215-pound frame is good for catching, built durably and with sturdy strength through the lower-half and core. He’s a quiet receiver that shows plus instincts and intangibles leading a pitching staff, with an arm that’s at least average. Barrera calls a good game and gives pitchers confidence throwing to him. His natural strength provides some raw power to the pullside, though it’s more from brute muscle than quick or loose hands. There’s iffy batspeed and plate coverage, and he’s unlikely to ever be enough of an offensive force to be in the mix for everyday playing time in the bigs. He has hit for fair batting averages at each stop so far, though I anticipate high-minors pitching to provide more of a challenge once he moves to Double-A and above.
There isn’t a ton of prospect value here, but high-makeup catchers with defensive ability and some raw pop have a way of sticking around. If he can hit enough, the defense is enough to hold down a bench/spot-starting role in the big leagues. Barrera’s glovework at a premium position makes him a safe bet to be at least an up-and-down type even if the bat stalls.