We’re highlighting every player to appear in Houston’s system in 2022.
Colin Barber is a six-foot, 200 lb. outfielder from Paradise, CA. Born on December 4, 2000, the Astros took him in the fourth round of the 2019 draft, with the 136th overall pick out of Pleasant Valley HS. Eighteen players have made the majors from that position in the draft, led by Ángel Pagán (1999, 18.0 WAR).
Barber played some rookie ball after the draft, then played the 2020 season with the independent Chicago Deep Dish (in the City of Champions Cup League). The 2021 campaign would see him with the High-A Asheville Tourists, where he was limited by injury to 16 games. He slashed .214/.365/.452 in the limited action.
Barber was named the Astros number six prospect by MLB Pipeline before the season. In 66 games for the Tourists in 2022, Barber had multiple hits in 18 of them, including seven three-hit games. On June 5, in a 21-6 loss to the Hickory Crawdads, Barber went three-for-four with two homers and three RBI. On June 30, in a 17-9 win against the Bowling Green Hot Rods, he went five-for-five with a pair of doubles and three RBI.
An injury in July would see Barber take a few weeks off and a short jump to rehab with the rookie team. He returned on August 24 for the stretch run. In 63 games at High-A, he turned in a respectable .298/.408/.450 line, with a walk-rate of 11.5 percent, seven home runs, and 33 RBI.
Defensively, Barber played extended innings at each of the three outfield positions. He played 161 innings in center (39 chances, 1.000 fielding percentage), 146 1⁄3 in right (28, 1.000), and 124 in left (13, .923).
Barber is still at least two seasons off, but could round into a decent contact hitter at the major league level by 2025. Look for him to start next year with the Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks.
Franklin Barreto is a five-foot-10, 208 lb. middle infielder from Caracas, VZ. Born on February 27, 1996, he signed his first professional deal with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2012 at the age of 16.
Barreto made his major league debut in 2017 with the Oakland Athletics, and appeared for them at that level in 95 contests over the next four seasons. He slashed .180/.210/.360 with nine home runs, 27 RBI, three stolen bases in three attempts, and seven walks versus 92 strikeouts in 219 plate appearances. On August 29, 2020, the A’s traded him to the Los Angeles Angels for Tommy La Stella. Barretto went two-for-17 with eight whiffs in six games for the Angels.
Just prior to the 2021 season, Barreto had to undergo Tommy John surgery, and was granted free agency following the season. On March 24, 2022, the Astros signed him through free agency, and assigned him to the Triple-A Sugar Land Space Cowboys.
On June 2, Barretto went three-for-four with a solo homer in an 8-5 loss to the Albuquerque Isotopes. On August 7, he had his best game with the team, with a double and a home run for five RBI in an 11-6 win against the Round Rock Express. He was granted his release the following day.
Barreto played in 73 contests in total for the Cowboys, slashing .162/.259/.274 with 30 walks and 102 whiffs in 274 plate appearances. He totaled six homers for 21 RBI and stole 11 bases in 15 tries. He hasn’t appeared in affiliated ball since his five RBI game on August 7.