Former D-backs draft pick and Sun Devil Tony Barnette is in MLB after pitching in Japan
Most players who are making their major league debut do so after spending a good amount of time in the minors, but there aren’t many players that will make it like Tony Barnette did.
Barnette, a 10th round pick of the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2006, is now finally in the majors after being drafted nine years ago. The former Sun Devil is not coming from the minor league system however.
After six seasons in Japan and at the age of 32, Barnette signed a two-year deal with the Texas Rangers.
After making it all the way up to Triple-A Reno for the D-backs in 2009, Barnette struggled, starting in 29 games with a 5.85 ERA.
He would then go to Japan for six years to play for the Yakult Swallows. The struggles still came as a starter in his first season, with a 5.99 ERA and led to a move to the bullpen.
Having no bullpen experience on the record in the minors, Barnette still thrived, totaling 97 saves in the next five seasons. That includes his 41-save 2015 season with a 1.44 ERA.