The D-backs prospect recorded a career-high 13 strikeouts and allowed three hits over six shutout innings in his third pro start Saturday night as the Rookie-level Missoula Osprey beat the Billings Mustangs, 10-5.
Selected in the 36th round of the Draft earlier this month, Barbosa got into a little trouble in the first, walking Spencer Dickinson and allowing a two-out single to Carlos Sanchez. But he fanned Gabriel Rosa, then went on to record eight consecutive outs via strikeouts from the third to the fifth.
"After the first inning, I found my changeup. It's my go-to pitch," Barbosa said. "I'm not overpowering. I know if I have my changeup, the night's going to be pretty good.
"Once you get that first strike, you can mess around with the batter. The changeup was there when I wanted to throw it for a strike or throw it for a ball. A lot of strikeouts were because I had the curveball working in the dirt. It was just one of those nights where they just didn't know what to do."
Since joining the Osprey on June 20, Barbosa (1-0) has allowed four hits over 16 scoreless innings. He's fanned 24 batters while walking seven during that stretch. The 24-year-old left-hander attributes his early success to sticking with his strengths.
"Hitting spots, that's pretty much it," he said. "If I hit the glove, I'm pretty much good. I don't really throw hard, so that's a big key -- locating the ball, changing speeds and keeping the batter guessing."
Being picked late in the Draft might provide extra motivation to some players, but the University of South Florida product is not among them.
"I don't look at it like that," Barbosa said. "I'm glad to get an opportunity to play and I'm going to play my game. I'm not going to go out and put that pressure on myself."
Michael Perez, the D-backs' No. 9 prospect, continued his assault on Pioneer League pitching, going 3-for-3 with three RBIs. The 19-year-old catcher is batting .375 with 13 RBIs in nine games for Missoula.
Sanchez slugged a two-run homer off reliever Chase Stevens for the Mustangs.