MIDLAND Playing far away from home, Luis Barrera knows what it takes to make sacrifices to try and get to the majors.
The outfielder is currently in his second year with the RockHounds and seventh overall in the Oakland Athletics organization.
It goes without saying that playing in the Permian Basin has its laundry list of differences than back home in his native Dominican Republic.
For him, it’s a sacrifice to be away from his wife and daughter, but he knows that it’s all part of being in the pros.
“It’s a big difference,” said team interpreter Edgar Morales for Barrera at last week’s RockHounds All-Star Luncheon. “But it’s a sacrifice that I’ve had to make to come here and play ball and leave the family at home.”
It hasn’t gone to waste as Barrera has proven to be a stand out player for the RockHounds.
Further evidence of this was supported by his invite to the Texas League South Division All-Star roster for this year.
The All-Star Game will take place tonight at ONEOK Field in Tulsa, Okla.
“I’m super excited,” Morales said for Barrera. “I’m excited for myself, my wife and my daughter. All of my hard work has paid off and I’m ready to get it going.”
Barrera joined the RockHounds in 2018, being promoted from Class-A Advanced Stockton.
He’s garnered a .323 batting average with 35 runs, 71 hits and 24 RBIs from 53 games this year. He also has four home runs to his credit.
“I’ve had a good season,” Morales said for Barrera. “Everything has been going well. I’ve sort of expected it. I’m still excited about it.”
But it wasn’t all that easy for him early on.
“At the beginning of the season, I struggled at batting but I’ve been practicing and practice and now I’m getting better and better at it,” Barrera said.
With the second half of the season now underway, he’s aware of what more needs to be done as the RockHounds target the playoffs.
“I just need to keep working on my batting and help out my teammates to get to the playoffs,” Barrera said. “That’s about all that I can do right about now.”
Manager Scott Steinmann knows exactly what Barrera brings to the table.
“He was here last year,” Steinmann said. “I’ve had him for a couple of years. He brings a certain dynamic to the club. He can bunt. He can swing. Watching him work hard is just one of the most incredible things that I’ve seen from an athlete.”
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