Sticking Points 2040.6: Julio Barajas, Teen Phenom

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Sticking Points 2040.6: Julio Barajas, Teen Phenom

Post by aaronweiner » Mon Sep 30, 2019 8:33 am

Around midseason, the Rockville offense was struggling to put up runs. Chip Puckett first hit .260, then got traded. Manuel Marino, Francisco Flores, and Lorenzo Palacios were doing their thing, but the rest of the team was locked in a malaise. Felix Delvalle, a very valuable player at second base, was starting at DH. The solution? Teenager Julio Barajas, who after coming up in June had one of the more memorable seasons for any teenager in the history of the BBA. Barajas not only sparked the offense, but he won the Cartwright Cup MVP. Did we mention he was 19?

"This is like a dream for me," said Barajas. "As a child in Chile I dreamed of playing major league baseball, but I know how young I am and sometimes I am surprised at my own success."

Barajas wasn't merely good last year. Double his effort to a full season and only Louisville's fellow rookie teenage sensation Semei Kwakou would have eclipsed him in WAR in the entire Johnson League. In 78 games, Barajas hit an absurd .382 with 24 home runs and a 1.147 OPS, which would have easily been the leader in either league.

"Of course we didn't expect this from Julio," said Pikemen manager Duane Whitley. "But he's a special kind of ballplayer. We have a lot of those guys around these days, but Julio really just went out there and did it all."

Any sane person wouldn't expect for Barajas to hit .382 again; over a full season that would have been the highest JL mark EVER, beating out Mike Clarke and Daniel Labrie's 2002 seasons. However, if the star outfielder can repeat even some of his 2039 success in 2040 it would go a long way towards Rockville winning their division.

"I'm going to go out there and play my best, and from what all the other guys tell me that ought to be about enough," said Barajas. "I can't wait to do it against next year."

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