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Barry Enright Joins 'From Phenom To The Farm:' Episode 25

Barry Enright Getty

“From Phenom to the Farm” releases new episodes every other Tuesday featuring players whose experiences vary across the professional baseball spectrum. Players will discuss their personal experiences going from high school graduation to the life of a professional baseball player.

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The jump from high school to college baseball can be a difficult one. Contributing as a freshman is tough.

Incoming freshman are competing against players sometimes three to four years older than them—players who have had multiple years adjusting to the physical and mental grind of the college level. Pair that with having to figure out college coursework, and it’s easy to see why freshman often need a redshirt year to be ready to help a ballclub.

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However, as a freshman at Pepperdine, Barry Enright was ready from the get-go.

Enright was a quality talent, but in a highly-ranked 04-05 Waves recruiting class, he needed more than talent to contribute. He stepped right into the Pepperdine weekend rotation, something he credits to his competitive nature and ability to command his pitches.

“They said ‘hey this is your spot, you want to compete and win it?’” said Enright. “I wasn’t always the hardest thrower, I wasn’t always the best stuff guy (…) but in college it’s all about command.”

Ready to contribute might be an understatement—Enright ended his first season at Pepperdine as the West Coast Conference Freshman of the Year. The award itself was impressive, but might not have even been the highlight of Enright’s season.

During the 2005 NCAA regional, Enright was called upon to toe the rubber against host Long Beach State, whose lineup featured junior short-stop and soon-to-be seventh overall pick Troy Tulowitzki, plus a sophomore named Evan Longoria. The intimidation factor of Tulowitzki was almost a blessing in disguise.

“Because Tulo was so good, I don’t remember Longoria being much of a force my freshman year,” remembered Enright. “He didn’t get as much clout as Tulowitzki did, and Tulo was so good.”

While Tulowitzki tagged him for a solo shot, Enright ended up with the victory, and closed out his freshman year with momentum and promise that he’d fulfill over the rest of his Pepperdine career. He’d ride his confidence and command, adding increased polish along the way, throughout his sophomore and junior years.

He left Pepperdine with a WCC Pitcher of the Year award and as a Golden Spikes semi-finalist, and was selected by the Diamondbacks in the 2nd round of the 2007 draft.

Enright’s confidence in himself continued to be an asset during his climb up the big league ladder, as he steadily made his way from level to level. Even when sent back to Mobile to repeat Double-A to start the 2010 season, Enright turned it into a positive—convincing himself that he was going back to dominate the level. He did just that and was rewarded with his first stint in the big leagues.

After initial success, Enright learned a difficult lesson—big league baseball is tough. Even for someone whose bulldog mentality and tenacity had long been an asset, the trying circumstances of fighting for a job in the show wore on Enright. Seasons that didn’t measure up to his previous success and some frustrating media coverage wore down Enright, with his last big league appearances coming in an 8.1 inning stint in 2013 with the Angels.

His time in the big leagues ending didn’t end his career, and certainly didn’t end his appreciation for the game—quite the opposite. Enright began transitioning his career over to foreign leagues, eventually spending his winters and summer between the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, and Mexico.

“It brought back all the love for baseball—took the business part out of it,” said Enright. “It was like a family again—they cared about winning.”

Enright hung up his spikes and jumped right into a coaching career with the team that drafted him. He’s in a perfect position to share 10+ years of pro ball experience with the D-Backs young arms—unless golf steals him first. In May of 2020, Enright won the TPC Champions Classic on the Outlaw Golf Tour and has aspirations to play in more professional tournaments in the future.

On the latest episode of ‘From Phenom to the Farm’ we’re joined by former big league pitcher Barry Enright. He talks West Coast college baseball, the benefits to being the visiting them in a regional, and the importance of confidence in yourself on the climb to the big leagues.

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