A's call up Luis Barrera; Moreland to IL

May 19th, 2021

OAKLAND -- The A’s are going to get a good look at one of their most exciting position players in the organization in outfield prospect .

Barrera -- Oakland’s No. 7 prospect per MLB Pipeline -- was called up on Tuesday prior to the first of a three-game series against the Astros. Mitch Moreland, who had been dealing with soreness in his left side over the past few days, was placed on the 10-day injured list retroactive to Saturday with inflamed costochondral junction of his left rib.

Rated as the top outfield prospect in the organization, Barrera has impressed the big league staff in Spring Training over the last couple of years. The 25-year-old outfielder jumped out again with a hot start at Triple-A Las Vegas this season, slashing .349/.429/.558 with two home runs, a double, triple and seven RBIs over 11 games. 

His early success in the Minors continued what has been a rapid rise through the A’s system that began at Double-A Midland in 2019 when he slashed .321/.357/.513 in 54 games and won Texas League All-Star Game MVP honors. A shoulder injury ended his season later that June, but Barrera did enough in that time to vault himself up the organizational depth chart.

Though he wasn’t a highly regarded international prospect, the A’s were impressed with Barrera’s standout performance in the Dominican Prospect League, so much that they decided to sign him in July 2012 for $450,000. A’s assistant general manager Billy Owens, who was among the A’s scouts who watched Barrera play several times as an amateur, compared him to D-backs outfielder David Peralta for his level stroke, ability to hit line drives to all fields, electric speed and solid defense at all three outfield spots.

“He has a natural and infectious positive energy on the diamond,” Owens said. “It’s an exciting day! Luis is a hard-working player that has really matured in the last few years.”

The A’s could opt to utilize Barrera in a number of roles, as he brings experience playing all three outfield positions. He began Tuesday’s series-opener on the bench for Oakland.

“We’ll try to get him a start at some point,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “This is a big day for him. He gets called up after hitting close to .350. He was definitely the guy to bring up.

“I’ve been impressed with him a couple of springs and told him that I expected him to be in the big leagues at some point, and now he’s here.”

Pulled in the middle of Monday’s road game for Las Vegas in Reno, Nev., Barrera said he was surprised when Triple-A manager Fran Riordan delivered the news that he was getting called up. Shortly after, he made a call to his wife and daughter, who were both following the game via internet and were wondering why he was out of the lineup.

“They didn’t know what was happening,” Barrera said. “My wife and my daughter, I called them and they asked what was going on. I told them and they started crying. Even I started crying from the surprise of it all.

“I’ve been with Oakland’s organization a long time. the long road to get here was difficult. But I stuck with it and came out on top. Thank God, now getting this opportunity.”