Sticking Points 2040.9: Julio Barajas Handles Year 2

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Sticking Points 2040.9: Julio Barajas Handles Year 2

Post by aaronweiner » Sun Oct 27, 2019 9:21 am

18 Year Old Rookie Phenom Julio Barajas is no more. Last year, Rookie Phenom Julio Barajas hit .382 with a 1.147 OPS and a 3.7 WAR in just 78 BBA games. Nearly no one had ever done anything like that in the history of the BBA, and Rookie Phenom Julio Barajas, despite getting no love from the statheads at Stats Plus, should have been at least the runner up in the Joe Gillstrom race to Semei Kwakou. However, that was last year, and everyone was wondering whether Barajas would suffer through a sophomore slump. So far, he's avoided that malady completely, and while his numbers aren't the same as his absurd, historical marks last year, Barajas has been a more than capable cleanup hitter for the Pikemen this year.

"It's one of those weird things that doesn't happen very often ever," said Barajas, who says that he gets a lot of inspiration from the Rockville roster. "One of the things that helped me last year and is helping me this year is the fact that I could talk to some of my teammates about it, guys like Francisco Flores and Chip Puckett - Chip really helped me last year - about what I was going through as a teenager who was playing way above everyone's head."

Flores, of course, was the team's first teenage rookie phenom. Flores stepped into a starting role at catcher for the Pikemen in 2033 as they were beginning their run, and promptly hit .325 and .360 in two seasons, finishing second only to teammate Dusty Rhodes for the batting title in the second year.

"I remember that nobody really understood what I was going through as such a young person being so productive so fast," said Flores, the 2038 JL Sawyer Silk Award winner. "The toughest thing about that was not knowing how to keep steady and keep my head on straight with so many people telling me how great I was. I've tried to help Julio not let it get to his head."

Barajas has been a very dependable player for Rockville this season at the ripe old age of 19. His OPS has been over .900 in each of the three months of the 2040 season and his slugging percentage is in the top 5 in the Johnson League, while his OPS is in the top 15 in the JL. Those are still superstar-quality numbers, and the team and the fans have every reason to think that a another star has been born for the Rockville Pikemen.

"I'm happy just to be here, but to be doing what I'm doing right now in my career feels very special," said Barajas. "I hope I can do this for this franchise for a very long time."

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