At 5' 11", Jacob Barrack is kind of small. He's certainly not an imposing figure on the mound; until he starts throwing.
Most of Barrack's size must be heart, because he loves the game and it shows. He goes right at hitters and isn't afraid to challenge anyone with any of his four pitches. He also has a knack for coming up big, giving Pepperdine nine innings of five hit ball in last year's college regional against Cal State Fullerton.
For all of his heart and skills, Barrack will have a battle on his hands to make it to the majors. It's likely though that he will be able to develop enough that he will at least get a shot somewhere down the road. If he continues to develop the way the Phillies believe he could, that road may not be too long.
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Acquired: Drafted out of Pepperdine University in the 19th round of the 2004 Draft.
Repertoire: You name it, Barrack can throw it; and throw it for strikes. He features a fastball, change-up, slider and curve and gets good movement on his pitches.
Pitching: While he has great command and movement on his pitches, the Phillies hope that Barrack will develop a little more velocity. He is generally in the upper 80s now, but the Phillies hope that he can reach 90 mph consistently. They don't want to see the added velocity though if it will mean a loss of some of the natural movement and control that he has.
Projection: It's likely that Barrack will return to Lakewood to start the 2005 season. He struggled there a little last season in a late season audition, but he will make the adjustment without much difficulty. Don't figure that Barrack will stay in Lakewood all season, as a promotion to Clearwater could come quickly. Even though Barrack was a starter in college, it also figures that he will work out of the bullpen in his professional career, probably as a middle reliever.
ETA: Figure on Barrack starting to get serious major league consideration for the 2009 season. It's likely that he'll see the majors before then, but likely not in a permanent spot.
Comparison: Physically and as far as how he throws, Barrack compares to Rheal Cormier. Again, he's undersized, but like Cormier has shown, that can be overcome by having solid stuff, which Barrack has. Barrack is a right-hander, so he doesn't have the advantage of being able to become a left-handed specialist like Cormier, but then again, he may not have to. The Phillies will look for him to continue to develop and work as a middle reliever down the road.