The Pittsburgh Pirates have a very deep farm system. It is a system that has a lot of starting pitching and outfield depth at every level. In the first installment of the Pirates’ top 10 prospects series, we are going to start with No. 10, outfielder Barrett Barnes.
Barnes was drafted 45th overall by the Pirates in the 2012 MLB Amateur Draft out of Texas Tech University. Barnes was a career .319 hitter in college with 5o steals, 33 home runs and 140 RBI. He was a three-time All-Big 12 selection in his time with the Red Raiders.
Since being drafted, Barnes has had legitimate issues staying on the field. Already at 22 years old, Barnes has only had 359 professional baseball plate appearances. In his first season playing professional, Barnes played with the State College Spikes, the Bucs’ short-season team at the time. In 153 plate appearances with the Spikes, Barnes hit for a .288/.401/.456 slash line with five home runs and 10 stolen bases. In 2013 with the West Virginia Power, one of the Pirates’ Class-A teams, Barnes hit .268/.338/.399 with five home runs and ten steals in 206 plate appearances.
At this point, due to injuries and a lack of need, Barnes may be used as trade bait at some point instead of being in the future plans for the Pirates. The Pirates already have one of the best outfields in baseball with Andrew McCutchen and Starling Marte under team control for many years to come. In the minor leagues, the Pirates have a couple outfield prospects that are better than Barnes; it would be incredibly difficult for him to find himself in the big leagues anytime soon with the Bucs. If Barnes is able to keep himself healthy, he will hopefully be able to develop into an everyday MLB outfielder at some point. Until he can stay healthy, however, he has to remain a bit of an afterthought.