Those who follow the farm system of the Dodgers closely will know that there are very few players who paid more dues and are more deserving of success than starting pitcher Scott Barlow. After being named the Texas League Pitcher of the Week for June 5-11, the Connecticut-born righty finally earned a promotion to Oklahoma City, and in his first Triple-A start of 2017 last Monday, held the Memphis Redbirds scoreless through six innings en route to the victory.
“He’s totally deserved the promotion,” OKC manager Bill Haselman said last weekend. “I think he’ll have all of the confidence in the world.”
In 14 starts for Double-A Tulsa before his promotion, Barlow posted a 5-3 record with an impressive 2.02 ERA, registering a 0.95 WHIP while collecting 87 strikeouts in 75-2/3 innings of work.
Last season, Barlow was honored as a Texas League Mid-Season All-Star, and eventually went 4-7 for the Drillers over 23 starts, tallying a 3.98 ERA and 102 punchouts in 124-1/3 innings thrown. In 2015 for High-A Rancho Cucamonga, he logged a 8-3 record with a 2.52 ERA in 13 starts.
In terms of velocity, Barlow only threw in the high 80s for most of high school, but began to hit the weights hard not long after being selected by the Dodgers right out of Grand Valley High School in the sixth round of the 2011 MLB draft. Shortly thereafter, he began to escalate to the top of the Dodgers’ prospect lists when his fastball speed elevated into the low 90s; however, after feeling soreness in his elbow in the spring of 2012, he underwent Tommy John surgery to repair a torn UCL. Barlow would return in 2013, starting 15 contests for Ogden in the short season, and would ultimately rebound for Great Lakes in 2014, when he recorded six victories and posted a 4.49 ERA with 102 strikeouts over 21 starts.
Today, Barlow’s heater sits in the low 90s, but his out-pitch is a plus-slider which normally comes in between 78 and 82 MPH. He also throws a curve in the low 70s and changeup in the low 80s to compliment his off-speed arsenal.
Although it seems like he’s been around forever, Barlow is just 24 years of age, and could make his way back into the organizational prospect rankings towards the end of the season. With a fully developed repertoire and limitless determination, there’s no doubt he can succeed in the OKC rotation as long as he’s healthy.
As far as his ceiling goes, many scouts had Barlow pegged for a middle reliever type of arm early in his minor league career, but over the long haul, he could more favorably profile as a quality back-end starter in a big league rotation.
For his next start, Barlow is set to take the bump on Saturday evening against the Sounds in Nashville. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. CT.
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