Barry Enright is far from a house hold name to most baseball fans, but it’s a name you might be starting to hear more of in the near future. Enright is a 24 year old pitcher that was a 2nd round draft pick by the Arizona Diamondbacks out of Pepperdine University in 2007. He was recently named the fourth starter by manager Kirk Gibson. Armando Galaragga named the fifth starter of the DBacks today, who beat Aaron Heilman, who will start the season in the ‘pen. Zach Duke was up for a spot in the rotation, but he is recovering from a broken throwing hand. Enright might find himself out of a spot when Duke returns from his injury, but he could easily hold on the spot even after Duke comes back. Having pitching depth like that is a good problem to have. Enright found himself making the jump from AA to the majors last season with pretty decent success last season. In his first 12 major league starts, he posted a 2.45 ERA, but finished the season with a 6-7 record and a 3.91 ERA. For a pitcher that skipped AAA, it’s a good start to his major league career. He also fields his position well, and can swing a bat better than most pitchers. He had a .242 average in 33 at-bats with six RBIs last season.
The term finesse pitcher has been also be coined as a “control pitcher” or denoted as “crafty”. The two most well-known control pitchers are “First Five” Hall-of-Famer Christy Mathewson and sure fire Hall-of-Famer Greg Maddux. Reds pitcher Mike Leake, Cubs pitcher Casey Coleman and teammate, Ian Kennedy are a couple examples of today’s control starting pitchers. Control pitchers can succeed at the level Major League Baseball has presented itself to be today.
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He’s got a big frame (6’3″, 220 lbs) for a finesse pitcher, but he mixes speeds and his average pitches very well. His fastball comes in the upper 80′s, but will top-out about 93. He does have a plus change up; one of the best weapons a control pitcher can have. As noted, he doesn’t have lights out top of the rotation stuff, but he pitches effectively and gets batters out. In his summer call-up last season holding batters to a .261 average. That number may look high, but his last five starts in September bloated his stats. He ended up having 10 of 17 starts last season be quality starts; a pretty good ratio for a pitcher with zero AAA experience. Most scouting reports list him as a fifth starter with some upside (noted as a lesser Ian Kennedy). If a pitcher in the back end of a rotation has a record around 12-14 with an ERA around four, I’ll take him on my team any day.
When I find myself admiring baseball players, it’s typically because of who they are as a character, more so then their physical skills that got them where they were. I’ve been following Enright on twitter (@BarryEnright54) since just before spring training and he’s got a very positive, yet competitive attitude. After last season, he was in line to secure a spot in the rotation for the following season, but with the acquisations of Duke, a former top prospect of the Pirates, and Galaragga, who pitched a “perfect game” this past season for the Tigers, he was instantly put into a situtation where he was going to show the DBack brass including coach, Kirk Gibson, why he should be the teams fifth starter in the rotation.
He talk a lot about competing when he tweets, and has hashtagged several posts with “#COMPETE” and “#GIDDYUP”. He interacts with fans very well, answers their questions, and a lot of time to make sure fans are taken care of at spring training games. He re-tweets many fan posted photos that he’s taken with fans, and there as photo of himself as the last player in the dugout giving autographs to the fans after a game this spring training. It’s important for a player to take time and interact with the fans. I enjoy reading the tweets about Enright and how well received he is by the fans. He’s also had a couple of contests and given away some swag to the winners.
When Duke came down with an injury, a fan asked him if he was relieved since Duke got injured. He replied “I am not relieved. I feel very bad for him. He is an awesome guy and has worked hard to pitch as well.” This statement I see as genuine and show how much of a “team player” Enright really is. He’s not going to wow fans with blazing speed like Aroldis Chapman, and he’s not baffling hitters with a nigh unhittable slider like Carlos Marmol, but what he is going to do is go out on the mound every five days, and work his hardest and do his part for his team to earn the “W”. Barry Enright does deserves this shot in the rotation that Diamondbacks are giving him. He may go through a few “growing pains” in his sophomore campaign, especially pitching at Chase Field. I think last season stats will be about where he’s at for his career, which is more than adaquete for a fifth start on pretty much any team in the Majors. Heck, sometimes rotations are in bloody shambles trying to figure out who’s going to be their fifth starter or if they’re is any pitching depth in case of injures (Yankees and Cardinals, I’m looking at you!).
In my book, he’s a good kid with a bright future, and I wish him the best this season and I now can call myself a Barry Enright Fan, even if I’m a “Bleed Cub Blue” Cubs fan. I even picked him up in a franchise league too, since he’s only 24 and he’s showed he can succeed at the Major League level.
Filed under: Digging Deep - Analysis | Tagged: Armando Galaragga, Aroldis Chapman, Barry Enright, Carlos Marmol, Casey Coleman, Christy Mathewson, Control Pitcher, Diamondbacks, Greg Maddux, Ian Kennedy, Mike Leake, Zach Duke | Leave a Comment »