Throughout the 2018/2019 offseason, Marlin Maniac will devote one article each for every player who appeared in the Miami Marlins system for the 2018 season. Every. Single. Player. This is Part 144 of 286. For the first 100, click here.
Kyle David Barraclough is a 6’3″, 225 lb. right-handed relief pitcher from Santa Clara, California. Santa Clara has produced a total of nine major leaguers aside from Barraclough, including Troy Tulowitzki and Eric Thames.
Born on May 23rd, 1990, Barraclough played four full seasons as a starter for St. Mary’s College, a Division I Western Collegiate College institution. He was 18-25 with a 4.36 ERA and 290 whiffs in 331 2/3 innings. After his third season with them, the Minnesota Twins spent a 40th round pick on him, but he elected to complete his eligibility. Follow Barraclough on Twitter @kbclaw34.
In the 2012 draft, the St. Louis Cardinals chose Barraclough with a seventh round pick. Selected 240th overall, Barraclough is the third most successful major leaguer of the nine that have made it that far from getting chosen in that spot. Ahead of him are only Bob Stoddard (1978, Seattle Mariners, 5.2 career WAR), and Brad Keller (2013, Arizona Diamondbacks, 3.6 WAR). Barraclough has totaled 2.4 WAR through his first 227 major league appearances, all in relief.
From 2012 through mid-2015, Barraclough worked his way up through the Cardinals system, until July 25th. That’s the day that the Cards traded him to the Miami Marlins for fellow reliever Steve Cishek.
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Barraclough made the jump from the double-A Jacksonville Suns pretty quickly, joining the Miami Marlins bullpen on August 7th. He started the 2016 campaign rated as Miami’s number 20 prospect by the MLB Pipeline. Through his first three seasons with the Marlins, he went 14-6 with one save, with a 2.87 ERA. He struck out 219 in 163 frames, but also walked 100. A 137 ERA+ and a 1.288 WHIP hinted that Barraclough may have been destined to function as a closer.
The month of April would see Barraclough allow only seven hits in his first 12 2/3 innings, with 22 strikeouts and an opposing slashline of .159/.309/.341. With regards to his OBP, it was due mostly to Barraclough’s continuing struggles with the strikezone, exemplified by nine walks.
From May 6th through June 30th, Barraclough put up numbers not very often seen in the annals of major league history. He allowed three hits over 22 2/3 innings, logging a .042/.139/.056 slashline. The Miami Marlins posted a 16-7 record in games that he appeared in, and he totaled seven saves over that time. Barraclough would win the National League Pitcher of the Month award for his performance in June.
From July 2nd through September 13th, Barraclough was just dreadful. In 14 2/3 innings he allowed 28 hits and 15 walks, for a 2.932 WHIP and a 12.89 ERA. Opponents hit .400 off him over the span of time, and he was quickly dropped from the closer role that he had for so long seem destined for.
Through the 2018 season in total, Barraclough posted a 1-6 record and a 4.20 ERA, with 60 K’s in 55 2/3 innings. He allowed a 1.329 WHIP and walked 34. After the close of the season he was traded to the Washington Nationals for future considerations.
I’ve always liked Barraclough, despite his recent struggles. He was always the most likely to walk or strike out an opposing batter late in a game. It was never boring with him on the mound. He’ll likely remain in the bullpen for the Nationals. Hopefully, the Marlins will hit him well, but I for one wish him luck against the other 28 clubs.
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