Former Sharyland High standout and Texas alum Tres Barrera has been making the most of his latest opportunity with the Washington Nationals.
A sixth-round pick by the Nationals in the 2016 MLB Draft, Barrera is hitting .323 with 10 hits, four RBIs, six runs and one home run in nine July games, through Friday night. He also put together a four-game hitting streak during that time.
“Davey (Martinez) said he really wanted me to work on my offensive game and I really wanted to get better at it, and I’m still trying to get better at it. I get here early and I want to keep getting better,” Barrera said in a July 19 news conference. “I know I have a long way to go, but I’m just trying to put good at-bats together, get on base and do whatever I can to help the team.”
Barrera belted his first big league home run in a 18-1 Nationals win over the Miami Marlins on July 19. The 26-year-old swung on a first-pitch curveball and sent it over the left-centerfield wall.
“I kind of blacked out running the bases,” he said in a July 19 news conference. “Since I’ve been called up, I’ve just been trying to do whatever I can to help the team win games. We’re trying to put some wins together and stay in this playoff hunt.”
Barrera has bounced back in a big way after serving a 60-game suspension last season due to a positive test for Dehydrochlormethyltestosterone, a steroid on MLB’s banned substance list.
He was promoted from the Rochester Red Wings, Washington’s Minor League Baseball Triple A affiliate, on July 3. Since then, Barrera’s started eight games for the Nationals.
Martinez had high praise for Barrera with catchers Yan Gomes and Alex Avila out due to injury.
“He feels like he belongs. He’s got an opportunity now and he understands and he’s doing everything he can to show us and his teammates that he wants to play,” Martinez said in a July 19 news conference. “It’s awesome. He’s been a student of the game, very vocal in meetings. He’s talking about the kind of hitter that he wants to be and he’s working at it, so good for him. I’ve always said I love when young hitters come up, get an opportunity to play and play the way he’s playing.”
Barrera spent his freshman year of high school playing at Hidalgo, where he was named District 32-3A’s Most Valuable Player. He played his next three years at Sharyland High under Barton Bickerton and was selected to two all-state teams. He received District 30-5A MVP and The Monitor’s All-Area Player of the Year honors as a senior. Barrera, who was also a two-year starter at quarterback for the Rattlers, hit .452 with 22 home runs during his Sharyland career.
After hitting his first MLB homer, Barrera said he was appreciative of the support he’s received from home throughout his baseball career.
“It means the world to me. From where I come from, not many get to this position and I’m just happy that I can represent the people down there in South Texas,” Barrera said in a July 19 news conference. “I can’t thank them enough for all the support and love after everything that I’ve been through. It’s been a long journey to get here, a tough journey, but I’m happy that I’m here and I couldn’t have done it without everybody behind me. I really appreciate it.”