- Bats Both, Throws Right
- Height 6' 3", Weight 195 lb.
- School Loyola Marymount University
Ibarra hit .299 with 17 homers for Loyola Marymount in 1993 and was All-West Coast Conference as a utility man. The Minnesota Twins picked him in the 5th round of the 1993 amateur draft but he did not sign. The San Francisco Giants took him in the 6th round of the 1994 amateur draft, one round after they took Bobby Howry.
Ibarra made his pro debut with the Everett Giants in 1994, hitting .226/.321/.413 with 82 strikeouts and 10 homers in 252 at-bats. He was two homers shy of the Northwest League lead; surprisingly, he was pretty far from the strikeout king, Derrick Gibson at 102 (Gibson was one of the two guys with 12 dingers). Jesse had a big year in 1995 with the Burlington Bees and San Jose Giants, leading Giants farmhands with 34 homers, 100 RBI and 283 total bases. He put up a .330/.434/.636 line with 34 home runs, 77 walks and 96 RBI in 129 games for Burlington (with 94 strikeouts in 437 AB, a much better rate than in 1994) and was 3 for 9 with two doubles, a walk and four RBI for San Jose. Jesse led the Midwest League in OBP, slugging, home runs and total bases. He was second in average, .008 behind Demond Smith and was second in RBI, 12 back of Nilson Robledo. He was named the All-Star 1B and MVP. He led the US-based minors in slugging (21 points ahead of Harvey Pulliam), was third in total bases (behind Adam Riggs and Todd Greene in the high-flying Pacific Coast League), third with 67 extra-base hits (trailing Andruw Jones and Riggs) and was second to Greene in homers in all of minor league baseball. Baseball America rated him as San Francisco's #10 prospect entering '96, right behind Russ Ortiz.
The Californian slugger was not as great with San Jose in 1996, but he remained a major threat at the plate with a .283/.366/.462 batting line, 38 doubles, 17 home runs and 95 RBI. He led California League first basemen with 20 errors, though. He led Giants farmhands in doubles and RBI. Jesse was traded that winter to the Detroit Tigers for Mark Lewis.
Ibarra kept up his strong run with the 1997 Jacksonville Suns, batting .283/.363/.512 with 25 circuit clouts and 91 RBI, forming a potent attack with Juan Encarnacion. He led Southern League first baggers with 102 assists, tied Pete Rose Jr. for 7th in the SL in home runs and tied Kevin Witt for 7th in RBI. On July 25, he made history against the Memphis Chicks when he hit grand slams from both sides of the plate. He took Greg Wooten deep from the left side in the first and Sean Whiteside from the right side in the 5th, with two walks in between and a strikeout later. He was believed to be the second minor leaguer ever to hit grand slams from both sides in a game, following Lu Blue, but SABR researchers couldn't verify Blue's actions from 1917. Ibarra's bat was taken to the Hall of Fame.
The Loyola alumnus got his lone look at AAA in 1998 but bombed. He hit only .229/.304/.369 with 9 homers in 81 games for the Toledo Mud Hens and was 3 for 30 with a double and five walks for Jacksonville. He started '99 with Jacksonville but his troubles continued with a .157/.259/.214 batting line, striking out 20 times and homering once in 70 at-bats.
Ibarra finished 1999 with the Texas Rangers' Tulsa Drillers affiliate, eking out a .222/.316/.360 line and whiffing in 88 of 325 at-bats. In 2000, he was in the independent leagues, hitting .329/.403/.514 for the St. Paul Saints. He tied Jim Rushford for third in the Northern League in batting average. He split his final season, 2001, between St. Paul (.245/.316/.333 in 28 G) and the Adirondack Lumberjacks (.229/.301/.416 in 57 G).
Ibarra scouted for the San Francisco Giants in 2002, then became an executive recruiter.
Ibarra hit 131 home runs in 808 minor league games, with a career line of .268/.355/.460.