For the 2016-17 offseason, we counted down the Top 100 all-time Marlins. This offseason, we will instead cast our eyes ahead. I’ll be outlining the Top 100 Marlins prospects, as chosen by you on the ranker.com listing.
Today, we take a look at outfielder Kyle Barrett. Born on August 4th, 1993, the 5’11”, 185 lb. outfielder played college ball for the University of Kentucky Wildcats. In 145 games over three seasons in the program, he slashed .324/.386/.391, with 21 stolen bases. Miami chose him in the 15th round of the draft, 446th overall off the board in 2015.
Barrett, a native of Douglasville, Georgia, took some time out to answer some questions for Fish Stripes.
Fish Stripes: So you’re a Georgia boy. Did you grow up hoping to someday play for the Braves?
Kyle: Yes I was a huge Braves fan, lived 20 minutes from Turner Field and went to the games weekly. I actually went to a Braves game at the new Suntrust Park this year a few days after the (Southern League) season was over.
Fish Stripes: After getting chosen out of Kentucky, you missed most of 2015 on the DL, spent the next season in Greensboro, then progressed quickly through Jupiter into Jacksonville for the second half of last season. Do you think you’ll start out as a Shrimp or a Cake in 2018?
Kyle: I try not to think about it. I try my best to control the controllables. Being a good teammate, having fun, and winning is what I focus on.
Fish Stripes: You’ve played substantial time in each outfield position, and you’ve made only six errors in three years, so I’d say you’re equally adept in each. Which spot do you like the best?
Kyle: Six errors is a little rough. There’s legit only one, but the scorekeeper was a bully, lol. I prefer center, but as long as I’m in the lineup that’s all that matters.
Fish Stripes: I know the main goal of most minor league players is to someday get to the big leagues. Which major league player do you most try to emulate?
Kyle: I enjoy the art and philosophies of each player at the next level. They’re the best players in the world so I really respect and admire their games. I don’t try to emulate anyone in particular, I just play my game. I have been told my game resembles Brett Gardner.
Fish Stripes: Who has been the most influential in your development through the years?
Kyle: Oh man, that’s a tough question. My dad’s been there for me and sacrificed a lot for me to have a chance of playing at the next level. I’ve had coaches since I was 12 that have had big impacts in my life. They are all stepping stones that have led me to where I am now. I will say that going to the University of Kentucky was a crucial learning and growing experience for me.
Fish Stripes: Ok, now for the tough question. How do you spend your free time?
Kyle: Spending time with my friends, family, my girlfriend, going to concerts, outdoors stuff.
Thank you Kyle, for answering our questions.
After Kyle’s selection in 2015, he joined the Batavia Muckdogs in the New York-Penn League, and went 1-for-11 in four games before landing on the disabled list for the remainder of the season. At the start of the 2016 campaign, he joined the Greensboro Grasshoppers in the South Atlantic League, where he slashed .282/.333/.345 in 101 games. He swiped 17 bags, playing most of the season in left field. On June 30th, he hit a three singles and a double with two RBI in a 7-2 win against the Lakewood Blueclaws.
Kyle started 2017 in the Florida State League with the Jupiter Hammerheads, where he slashed .297/.355/.342 in 66 games, racking up 472 innings in the outfield, with at least 99.2 innings in each spot. He totaled two errors in 108 chances. On April 21st, in an 18-2 win against the Bradenton Pirates, Barrett led off and collected four hits. He hit .388 (19-for-49) in a 12-game hitting streak from May 25th through June 6th, then from June 11th through June 24th hit in nine straight, going 11-for-33. Four days later, he was promoted to the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp in the Southern League. He went three-for-four with a run and an RBI in his first appearance, a 4-2 win against the Mobile BayBears.
After joining the Shrimp, Barrett slashed .230/.285/.286 in 48 contests. As in his prior stop, he played substantial time in each of the three outfield positions, but mostly in center field.