Liberato, 28 later this month, was signed out of the Dominican Republic by Seattle back in 2012. He spent nine seasons in total in the Mariners organization, eventually reaching the Triple-A level for a full season in 2021 at age 25. In 337 trips to the plate that year, Liberato slashed .279/.338/.436 while primarily playing center field. The solid showing earned Liberato a minor league deal with the Padres when he hit minor league free agency the following winter. The outfielder started the 2022 season at the club’s Triple-A affiliate in El Paso and got fantastic results, with a .261/.354/.541 slash line in 99 games. While that performance came in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League, it was still 16% better than league average by measure of wRC+.
The strong numbers at Triple-A earned Liberato his first big league opportunity in September of 2022, when the club used him as a pinch runner and defensive replacement during their push to the playoffs. Though he appeared in seven games down the stretch, Liberato stepped up to the plate just five times, going hitless with three strikeouts in his first big league cup of coffee. After being outrighted off the club’s 40-man roster late in the 2022 season, Liberato returned to the Padres in 2023 on a new minor league deal but didn’t find the same offensive success, as his .261/.365/.461 slash line in 69 games with El Paso this year was good for a roughly league average wRC+ of just 99.
Now headed to Atlanta, Liberato figures to enter the season as outfield depth for a club that recently loss left fielder Eddie Rosario to free agency. He figures to join the club’s outfield mix at Triple-A to start the 2024 season alongside youngsters like Jesse Franklin V, Cody Milligan, and Justin Dean.