April 3, 2009
By John Philip Wyllie
Years of playing on both sides of the border has given Eastlake senior Joshua Barrera a pretty good understanding of the game of baseball. This season, he is putting that knowledge to use as a first baseman, pitcher and hitter for one of the county’s traditional powerhouses. While the Titans are off to an uncharacteristically slow start, Barrera and his teammates believe that when Mesa League title is on the line the Titans will be in the hunt to claim it.
“Josh knows what is happening on the baseball field at all times. He has good baseball sense. As a contact hitter he also swings the bat very well and he has great glove at first base. He’s very competitive, a hard worker and very respectful too,” said his coach David Gallegos.
Having started at the age of five and having had baseball as his primary focus since then Barrera has developed into a force at the plate and a sure-handed infielder at first base. Much of what he knows he learned while playing in Mexico.
“There are a lot of talented players in Mexico. It has been a little tougher for me to adjust down there, but it has been a good experience. I’ve been playing down there for years and I played (most recently) for Bravos,” Barrera said.
Ask to evaluate himself honestly as a player Barrera feels that his strength is in his ability to play under pressure. He is working most to improve his ability to stay completely focused on the game throughout nine innings. Barrera has enjoyed his years as a Titans player and feels he has benefited in a number of ways from being a part of this team.
“Playing here has taught me a lot about responsibility and hard work. I have also developed into more of a team leader. I have tried to set a good example.”
Barrera is not the first Titan to also hone his skills in Mexico. San Diego Padres stars Adrian and Edgar Gonzalez both played and still play extensively in Mexico. While Barrera has never met them he would like to one day follow in their footsteps, but first he wants to attend college.
“I think it is important that I get my education first, so I am hoping to get a scholarship play in college and then hopefully get drafted. I was thinking about playing at Southwestern College or SDSU.”