Giants hope they got their man in Barbosa
Team drafts big left-hander for the third time
SAN FRANCISCO -- Three: It's a number synonymous with baseball.
The same also can be said for the relationship between Andrew Barbosa and the San Francisco Giants.On Tuesday, the Giants did something they have done twice before: draft Barbosa, a 6-foot-8, 245-pound left-handed starting pitcher out of South Florida. Now that Barbosa's out of eligibility, the Giants are hoping the third time's the charm, picking him in the 15th round Tuesday. "He's a big guy and he throws strikes, and that's impressive, being able to be that coordinated for a 6-foot-8 body -- the touch and feel to be able to pitch like that," Giants scouting director John Barr said. "Hopefully we'll be able to get him into the system and start watching him develop." In 2006, the Giants selected Barbosa in the 15th round of the First-Year Player Draft. Instead of going pro, Barbosa opted to go to South Florida Community College. A year later, the Giants selected him again -- this time in the 48th round -- but Barbosa again declined, eventually finding his way to the University of South Florida. With the Bulls, Barbosa further blossomed, going 8-2 with a 2.40 ERA in 14 starts this season. He also struck out 95 batters and held opposing hitters to a .228 average. "He's a very big left-handed pitcher who pitched well this year," Barr said. "His stats looked good and he performed well. Any time you can get a left-handed pitcher of his size, especially one that has success, you're happy." After a quick glimpse at Barbosa's measurables, the phrase "power pitcher" instantly comes to mind for most baseball people. That, however, isn't the case with Barbosa. South Florida head coach Lelo Prado said Barbosa usually works with his fastball around 86 to 88 mph. But Prado quickly insisted that doesn't necessarily mean Barbosa's not a strikeout machine. "He's a quality kid and he misses a lot of bats and strikes out a lot of guys," Prado said. "He's not very overpowering. ... [But] I think his body's going to fill out." Once it does, Prado believes Barbosa and the Giants -- finally -- will be a good match. "He went to junior college and I believe he had arm surgery, and then he decided to come here and compete here, but I think now he's going to be even better, I really do," Prado said. "A lot of pitchers throw hard, but he misses bats. And I know he's going to do well in pro ball."
Cash Kruth is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.