Just 11 games into his MLB career, the flame-throwing righty has 14 strikeouts in nearly 10 innings of relief to pair with a microscopic 0.93 ERA. And of those punch outs, eight of them are consecutive!
Just look at the easy dominance stemming from Barlow’s electric right arm.
Since his promotion to the big leagues, reliever Joe Barlow has been throwing heat from the Texas Rangers’ bullpen
Ian Kennedy who? It appears the Texas Rangers have developed a homegrown version of the closer they recently traded to the Philadelphia Phillies. And he’s been a sight for sore eyes on a pitching staff that can use all the innings it can get.
With incumbent closer Spencer Patton struggling a little more of late, it’s possible Barlow, 25, will position himself for more save chances as the season winds down. Better to give the new guys opportunities in a rebuilding season anyway, right?
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When you strike out eight batters in a row, that’s definitely going to earn you more looks.
With a career 2.64 MiLB ERA including a 2.57 ERA in 2021 at AAA Round Rock, it’s become evident that Barlow has the stuff to become a solid big league reliever. Not being a top prospect means the righty is less known by the fanbase, but it’s time to start paying attention to No. 68 now that he’s here.
Barlow was a 2016 draft pick by the Texas Rangers from Utah and had a career 12.8 K/9 rate in the minors, which is excellent. Early in his big league career, that figure stands at 13.0 K/9. That will most certainly play at this level.
One downside to the 25-year-old’s game is his walks. He already has four in 10 innings in the big leagues, and averaged 5.8 BB/9 in the minors for his career. That’s a number we’d love to see come down, but if he continues to work on his control, he should stay dominant.
Altogether though, it looks like the Texas Rangers have uncovered a true bullpen gem in Joe Barlow, and hopefully he becomes a fixture late in games going forward.