Editor’s Note: This story was edited to reflect that Barrera played three season at the University of Texas, not four.
McALLEN — Washington Nationals catcher and Rio Grande Valley product Tres Barrera was suspended by Major League Baseball for 80 games after testing positive for performance enhancing drugs.
Barrera, a 25-year-old who previously played baseball at Hidalgo, Sharyland High in Mission and the University of Texas in Austin, was handed the lengthy suspension Saturday after testing positive for Dehydrochlormethyltestosterone, which is considered a banned substance by the MLB’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.
“After conducting an appeal process, I am saddened to confirm that I have failed a test under MLB’s Joint Drug Agreement for DHCMT and the arbitrator has decided to uphold the suspension. From the initial failed drug test to losing the appeal, this all has come as a surprise as I have never, and will never knowingly, use a banned substance. I have worked too hard and given too much to this sport to disrespect or cheat the game that I love. I would never do anything to dishonor my family, teammates, and coaches or do anything to let down the many young ball players that look up to me,” Barrera wrote in a Twitter statement.
“I apologize to the Nationals’ organization, my teammates, fans, and my family for the negative attention this has brought. I will continue to work to find answers to the many questions that remain surrounding this drug to clear my name, but most importantly to prevent this from happening to anyone else. I look forward to returning to baseball and contributing to the team alongside my brothers.”
Barrera was also hit with his suspension two days after his current team, the Nationals, lost 4-1 to the New York Yankees in the first game of MLB’s Opening Day restart.
He didn’t make an appearance in that contest, and his suspension will now hold him out for the entirety of the 60-game regular season and most, if not all, of postseason play this year as well.
Barrera played his freshman season at Hidalgo, where he was named District 32-3A MVP.
He transferred to Sharyland High as a sophomore, where he played three years of varsity baseball and two years at quarterback for the Rattlers. Barrera tallied a .452 batting average and 22 home runs in his three-year run at Sharyland, which included two First Team All-State selections and the District 30-5A MVP and All-Valley Player of the Year awards his senior season.
Barrera played three years at Texas, winning the 2014 College Home Run Derby and starting behind the plate for a Longhorns team that advanced to the College World Series in Omaha.
As a sophomore, he helped lead Texas to a Big 12 conference championship and earned an All-Big 12 Second Team selection and added Academic All-Big 12 and All-Big 12 Honorable Mention in his junior year. Barrera totaled 106 RBIs and 20 home runs during his stint with the Longhorns before being drafted by Washington in the sixth round (184th overall) of the 2016 MLB Draft.
In the 2019 season, Barrera hit .249 with 46 RBIs, 42 runs, 23 doubles and eight home runs through 101 games with Double-A Harrisburg.
Barrera was called up from the minor leagues to the Washington Nationals on Sept. 8, 2019, and went on to win a World Series with the club in a seven-game series over the Houston Astros.