Kyle Barraclough’s fastball reaches the mid-90s and his slider can be absolutely devastating. The Miami Marlins relief pitcher also happens to call Santa Clara home. The 27-year-old right hander grew up playing at Briarwood Little League before going on to star at both Wilcox and Saint Mary’s. After four years of collegiate ball, Barraclough was drafted in the seventh round of the 2012 Major League Baseball draft by the St. Louis Cardinals. In August of 2015 he made his big-league debut with the Marlins in Atlanta.
“It was always kind of the goal,” said Barraclough on his journey to the big leagues. “I had some success in high school and college. I knew I was probably going to get drafted somewhere. I was going to be given the chance. It all fell into place, everything just worked out on its own through perseverance and hard work.”
The Marlins got Barraclough into a game the very first day he put on a big-league uniform. Barraclough’s debut on Aug. 7, 2015 was a three-up, three-down eighth inning. Miami lost the game 6-3, but it was a special day for the Barraclough clan.
“My parents and my brother flew in, I think they said they got in around the second inning,” recalled Barraclough on his debut. “And I ended up pitching the eighth inning that day so it was good to have them there, my agent got there, it wasn’t too hard to plan. I found out one day and the next day they are able to jump on a plane… It worked out well, I got to experience it all with them.”
Barraclough finished the 2015 season throwing 24 and1/3 innings with a cool 2.59 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and .154 BAA. He followed that up with an equally impressive first full season in the majors in 2016, throwing 72 and 2/3 innings with a 2.85 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and .176 BAA.
Early on during his stellar 2016 season, Barraclough made his first ever appearance at AT&T Park to take on the San Francisco Giants—his favorite team growing up.
“That was exciting. Obviously, a childhood dream growing up at that park. I was able to get my grandpa out there, he’s a lifelong Giants fan who grew up in San Francisco. That was cool to get him there, that was the best part of all. The one game he came to I ended up pitching and got the win, that was really special for me.”
Barraclough found it a bit surreal to face Giants players he once watched—like Buster Posey.
“Being out there in front of 40,000 people when I used to be one of those people. It was just special.”
Even going on nine years since graduating high school, Barraclough still fondly recalls his days playing for Wilcox coaches David Currie and Paul Rosa.
“One of the fondest memories I have is when we won the championship senior year. That was kind of my first time winning something like that, a championship, you know something bigger than Little League. Playing for Rosa and Currie was an awesome experience that helped me a lot in my career. Those two guys were way ahead of their years in terms of coaching. Those are two of the best coaches I’ve ever had in terms of the relationships I had with them and still have with them. I still talk to both of them pretty consistently.”
Thus far this season Barraclough is sporting a 3.15 ERA, 1.46 WHIP and .208 BAA.