Born: Jacksonville, Florida
Age: 18 (12/15/00)
Height/Weight: 6’4”/205 lbs.
School: The Bolles School (Jacksonville, Florida)
Hunter Barco made The Bolles School varsity baseball team as a freshman and has only gotten better. As a freshman, he hit .216/.306/.405 in 29 games and posted a 0.54 ERA in 77.2 innings, allowing 36 hits, walking 19, and striking out 89. As a sophomore, he hit .303/.420/.636 in 26 games and posted a 1.84 ERA in 57.0 innings, allowing 39 hits, walking 12, and striking out 56. As a junior, he hit .342/.477/.683 in 30 games and posted a 1.98 ERA in 63.2 innings, allowing 28 walks and striking out 84. This past season, his senior year, the left-hander hit .355/.523/.612 in 24 games and posted a 1.84 ERA in 38.0 innings, 24 hits, walking 22, and striking out 67. He missed some time with a shoulder strain over this past spring, the reason for his spike in walks and limited innings, but the missed time was precautionary.
At the plate, Barco has a smooth and easy swing. He makes loud contact and comes to every at bat looking to drive the ball. The attitude has led to an elevated swing-and-miss count, but when he does connect, he is able to post exit velocities over 90 MPH thanks to his above-average raw power. While Barco has impressive offensive tools, his future all but certainly lies on the mound.
Throwing from a three-quarters arm slot, Barco has a variety of pitches that project to be average or better. His fastball sits in the low-90s, topping out at 95 MPH, which is above-average velocity for a left-hander. He is able to throw the pitch to all four quadrants of the zone, and it has excellent running life, especially when thrown inside, and sinking life, especially when thrown down. He pairs the pitch with a slider, split-changeup, and traditional changeup. The slider sits in the low-90s and projects as a plus offering thanks to its sharp bite. His split-change sits in the mid-80s and has an extremely high spin rate, causing it to drop off the table suddenly. His more traditional changeup is slower and has more fade than sudden drop, like the split-change.
Barco has had problems repeating his release point, with his arm slot higher and lower depending on his stamina and the pitch. At times, he can unintentionally go almost fully sidearm and at times he can unintentionally throw from a high-three-quarters slot. He came into his senior season this past spring more physically developed and muscular, and though he periodically continued to have control problems, it is assumed that additional physical maturation and more advanced coaching will help him past it.
Barco has a commitment to the University of Florida.