The Houston Astros possess an extraordinary defensive talent in Brandon Barnes. Blessed with speed, agility and an awareness of how to play the outfield correctly, he is a commodity with these qualities alone.
The Astros are facing a bit of a dilemma in the upcoming season, and it’s a good problem to have. In George Springer, they have the best outfielder in all of the minors, primed to make his jump up to the big leagues.
At this moment, Barnes is unquestionably the Astros’ no. 1 pick at center field. His problem right now is his bat. He kicked off his first few major league weeks showing good form at the plate, and was an intelligent batter with pop to both sides of the field. Lately, however, he has drawn up strikeout after strikeout. His average has been dropping, and it’s been a while since he was the game-changer on the offensive side.
Springer, on the other hand, is on fire. He needs four more home runs to record a 40-40 season, something that hasn’t been accomplished in the minors since 1962. His average is on the up and up as well, and though hitting might be easier in the lower leagues, there is no denying the man’s raw capacity for offense.
Barnes is a great player — a highlight-reel center fielder who became a fan favorite very quickly. For now, he is flanked by players who don’t have nearly the glove he has, but they have been getting on base a lot more. With someone like Springer, who is likely to finish either first or second in the Minor League Player of the Year voting, nipping at his heels, it’s essential for Barnes to finish the season with flair.