Tres Barrera, a former Sharyland High standout who graduated in 2013, no longer has to imagine what it would be like to reach baseball’s biggest stage as the 2016 MLB draftee has reached this year’s World Series with the Washington Nationals.
Sharyland High athletic coordinator Ron Adame, who spent three years around Barrera when he played for the Rattlers, said he saw a fire in the young baseball and football star that not too many others possess.
“It’s not surprising to me because Tres was one of these individuals that was very driven, and he had this goal of getting drafted and playing in the major leagues, and it’s something amazing to be able to witness and see him achieve his dreams,” Adame said. “Talent-wise, he’s got it all in the world, but he’s also got intangibles that not everybody has. He’s got work ethic and he’s a good person that makes people around him better. He has an aura about him.”
Barrera, a catcher, was called up from the minor leagues by the Nationals on Sept. 8. Before the call-up, he hit .249 with 23 doubles, eight homers, 46 RBI, 36 walks and 42 runs scored in 101 games with Double-A Harrisburg.
He then spent time on both the Nationals’ active and 40-man rosters, appearing in two MLB games for the Nationals this season with one at-bat against the Atlanta Braves on Sept. 14 and another against the Cleveland Indians on Sept. 29.
And when Washington won its wild card game over the Brewers on Oct. 1, Barrera sprinted out of the dugout to celebrate with his teammates and popped bottles in the clubhouse after the victory.
Washington went on to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League Divisional Series in five games before sweeping the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Conference Series.
Now, if the Nationals can beat either the New York Yankees or Houston Astros in the World Series, the Sharyland High product Barrera will have earned a championship ring.
Tres spent his freshman year of high school playing at Hidalgo, under his father Felipe Barrera, where he was named District 32-3A Most Valuable Player. The next three years, Barrera played at Sharyland High, under head coach Barton Bickerton, where he was selected to two all-atate teams in addition to being awarded District 30-5A MVP and All-Valley Player of the Year as a senior. He hit .452 with 22 home runs during his Rattlers career. He also was a two-year starter at quarterback for the Rattlers football team.
“I feel like playing at the best football program and baseball program down in the Valley for a long time prepared me to play on a big stage,” Barrera said in an interview when he was drafted by the Nationals in 2016.
He went on to star on the diamond at the University of Texas. As a freshman, he won the 2014 College Home Run Derby and was the full-time catcher for a team that advanced to the College World Series. In his sophomore campaign, he was named to the All-Big 12 second team, while the Longhorns won the Big 12 championship. As a junior, Barrera earned 2016 Academic All-Big 12 baseball honors and was named an All-Big 12 honorable mention. He racked up 20 home runs and 106 RBIs in his three years at Texas.
And he spent the past three years climbing the ranks in the minor leagues, reaching his ultimate goal with the Washington Nationals.
Barrera’s message to young ball players with big league dreams?
“Give everything you have at everything you do. This game is too hard for you not to work hard. It’s that extra rep, that extra swing, that extra ground ball; all those things become a factor at the end of the day,” Barrera said. “Anything is possible. Hard work and dedication can get you anywhere you want to be.”
That hard work has gotten Barrera to the 2019 World Series, where he’ll continue living out his dreams in the MLB.
“When you think of Tres, there are a lot of memories that fill my mind, and it’s amazing to see him continue to make memories there at the highest level in baseball,” Adame said.
First pitch of the 2019 World Series is set for 7:08 p.m. Tuesday. Each game of the World Series will be televised on Fox.