Coming Soon to a Ballpark Near You: Daric Barton

Name: Daric Barton
Team: Oakland Athletics
DOB: August 16, 1985
Drafted: 1st Rd (28th overall), 2003
Acquired: Traded from St. Louis with Dan Haren and Kiko Calero to Oakland for Mark Mulder.
Awards: 2004 Midwest League Post-season All Star, 2005 Future Games selection, 2007 Pacific Coast League Mid-season All Star.

Stats:

Background:
Barton was drafted out of Marina HS in Huntington, CA by the Cardinals. He had signed a letter of intent with Cal State Fullerton, but the $1 mil signing bonus was too intriguing. He joined the Rookie League Johnson City Cardinals after signing. He was the team’s primary catcher, hitting .291 with 4 home runs in 54 games.

In 2004, he jumped to the Peoria Chiefs (then the Cardinals Lo A team) in the Midwest League. He played 90 games for the Chiefs that season and made the league’s post season All Star team. He also led the league in on base percentage, was third in batting average, and forth in slugging percentage. He finished the year being the centerpiece of the deal that sent Mark Mulder to the Cardinals.

Barton’s career with Oakland started with being ranked 32 on Baseball America’s Top 100 Prospect List and a switch to first base (he was behind Kurt Suzuki and scouts didn’t think he was suited to catch). When the season began, he started the year at Hi A Stockton in the California League. After a good stint there, he finished the year with Double A Midland in the Texas League. He finished the year with a .313 batting average between the two stops. The highlight of the year had to be the Future Games selection; the best prospects in baseball are selected to play before the MLB All Star game.

Barton started 2006 being ranked 28 on the Baseball America list, but didn’t have the season that any one envisioned. He injured his wrist and missed most of the season, only playing 43 games for Triple A Sacramento. His numbers took a hit, but many attributed it to the injury.

He bounced back in 2007. He was ranked 67 by Baseball America. He hit .293 for his second season in Sacramento, where he made the PCL mid-season All Star team. The team made the PCL playoffs, but he was pulled from the team to make his Major League debut. He hit .347 for Oakland with 4 homers and 8 RBIs. He also reached base in all 18 games he played in.

Barton is headed into 2008 as Oakland’s starting first baseman, displacing Dan Johnson.

Rookie Cards:
2003 Bowman Chrome Draft Daric Barton 34
2003 Topps Draft Picks Daric Barton 10
2003 Upper Deck Prospect Premieres Daric Barton 25
2003-04 Just Rookies Daric Barton
(Topps and Upper Deck will release rookie cards this year as the card agreement with the Players Association has changed – rookie cards now can only be produced once a player has made his major league debut. Minor Leaguers still have cards produced, but they are now considered First Year cards. More to come of this later)

ETA:
Starting in Oakland now.

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