Double-A Harrisburg right-hander Aaron Barrett continues to have success as their closer, racking up six consecutive save opportunities.
Barrett has 14 saves in 31 games spanning 30 1/3 innings, with 41 strikeouts and just nine walks. He is 1-1 with a 2.08 ERA and has not allowed an earned run in nine straight appearances. That works out to a 0.93 ERA in the last 10 games.
Harrisburg pitching coach Paul Menhart said Barrett has established the attitude necessary on the mound to deliver in the clutch.
“He is a bulldog on the mound,” Menhart said. “I love it. He wants to be there every day, brings it every day.”
Menhart said Barrett has that wonderful, charismatic personality off the field, but separates from the personality once he gets to the bump.
The 25-year-old Barrett throws his fastball low to mid-90s, hitting 94 to 95 mph.
“He does try to move it. The secret to his success is first-pitch strike,” Menhart said. “He uses his breaking ball as a strikeout pitch.”
Menhart said Barrett continues to work on his changeup, using it at the select times. The breaking pitch is like a slider, but unusual it what it is able to do to baffle the hitter.
“He throws a hard breaking ball, 83 to 86 mph - some call it a slider - (and) it has so much depth to it, no hump, no traditional dot. It is a morphed curve-slash-slider,” Menhart said. “He can throw it effectively in the dirt and has a great feel for it.”
Can Barrett be a closer at the big league level?
“He is real close,” Menhart said. “Not necessarily a (major league) closer right now. You have to earn those stripes, but he definitely has big league stuff.”
* Triple-A Syracuse outfielder Chris Rahl tore up the league last week, earning International League Batter of the Week honors. It is the second consecutive honor for the Chiefs, with Zach Walters earning the accolade June 10-16. The 29-year-old Rahl had a base hit in all seven games last week, batting .579 with four doubles, one triple and hit his sixth homer of the season.