Jaime Barria put himself on the fast track through three Minor League levels last season. It took just one start this year before the Angels' seventh-ranked prospect was called upon to make his Major League debut.
Barria jumps into the rotation with No. 1 overall prospect Shohei Ohtani and will start opposite Matt Moore on Wednesday as the Angels face the Rangers in Texas. The Los Angeles pitching staff is without right-hander Matt Shoemaker and left-hander Andrew Heaney due to injuries.
"I'm only 21 years old," Barria told MLB.com. "I thought this moment would come, just not so soon."
Video: Barria records his seventh punchout
The native of Panama pitched two innings in his lone Pacific Coast League start this season, allowing a run on two hits and a walk against Albuquerque. He began last year with Class A Advanced Inland Empire and pitched to a 2.48 ERA with a .202 opponents' batting average in 11 starts before being promoted in June to Double-A Mobile.
In 12 starts in the Southern League, Barria went 1-6 with a 3.21 ERA, with his crowning achievement being a two-hit, seven-inning shutout against Tennessee on June 23. He jumped up to Salt Lake for his final three starts and yielded four earned runs over 14 2/3 innings while holding opponents to a .208 average.
"I learned at each level," Barria said. "I threw innings across three different levels last year and it went really well. I feel prepared for my start tomorrow."
The stocky right-hander offers a three-pitch mix with a fastball, slider and changeup. His heater stays in the low-90's, but it's made effective by his 60-grade control. Barria issued 31 walks and had a 1.07 WHIP over 141 2/3 innings across all three levels last season.
The 6-foot-1, 210-pounder earned an invitation to his first big league Spring Training in 2018. He had some issues with the long ball in five Cactus League appearances, serving up four homers over 9 1/3 innings. But he struck out 12 while issuing three walks.