Steady but unspectacular in the field and at the plate, Barrett starred in the 1986 postseason, winning ALCS MVP honors and setting a major-league record with 24 hits in 14 postseason games.
A classic number-two hitter, Barrett batted a career-high .303 in his first full major-league season (1984), but was most valued for his excellent bat control and talent at moving runners along. He rarely struck out and was a skillful bunter, leading the AL in sacrifice hits three straight years from 1986 to 1988. Also renowned for his savvy at second base, Barrett often confounded enemy baserunners with decoys, bluffs, and the occasional hidden-ball trick.
A knee injury sidelined Barrett for much of the 1989 season, and by the 1990 Jody Reed had taken over as the Red Sox primary second baseman. A 12-game stint with San Diego in 1991 closed out his career.
Barrett’s younger brother Tom, also a second baseman, played briefly for the Phillies in 1988-89 and appeared in four games for the Red Sox in 1992.