2022 was an interesting season for Jaime Barria. He worked mostly as a long reliever for the Los Angeles Angels and had a lot of success. He was tendered for the 2023 season so he figures to be in a similar role.
Jaime Barria's 2022 results were flawed, as his number ended up being better than they probably should have been.
Barria went 3-3 with a 2.61 ERA in 35 appearances. He pitched 79.1 innings for the Angels, working mostly as a long reliever.
A 2.61 ERA is fantastic and earned him another year in the Angels bullpen. The problem is, I don't think he'll be close to as effective in 2023 as he was this past season.
Barria's opponents had a .230 BAbip. This means they hit .230 on balls they put in play. The MLB average is .300. Opponents hit 70 points lower than the average mark on balls put in play. Barria was in the 55th percentile in average exit velocity and the 68th percentile in hard-hit rate. These numbers are decent, but opponents weren't hitting the ball super softly against him either.
Barria struck out just 6.1 batters per nine innings. This number is not good and showed he relied heavily on the balls being put in play. With regression to the mean likely coming, I expect to see Barria's results be a lot worse in 2023.
To go along with his 2.61 ERA he had a 4.31 FIP and a 4.11 xERA. His expected numbers were nowhere near as good as his actual numbers were.
I still think there is some value with Barria. He doesn't walk many, (2.2 BB/9 in 2022) and generates a decent amount of ground balls (42.1% GB rate).
Barria can get the Angels six to nine outs on any given outing which is helpful for games they're down or up by a lot. He can help them rest the key pieces in the bullpen.
I'd expect him to be similar to the pitcher he was in 2021 when he had a 4.61 ERA. Opponents had a .307 BAbip that year which is much closer to the league average. He'll probably hover anywhere between 4.00 and 5.00 in the ERA department.
With that being said, Angels fans should temper their expectations for this right-hander. I don't think he'll be nearly as good as he was in 2022 and he shouldn't be anywhere near discussions for the sixth starter spot either. He could be a decent long reliever for the Angels and hopefully, he can get some more batted-ball luck.