When it comes to pitching prospects and the Boston Red Sox, most of the talk surrounds Henry Owens but he is far from the only good one they have. Matt Barnes was drafted by the Red Sox in the first round of the 2011 MLB Draft. Any time a pitcher goes that high, there are expectations. Barnes has been either really good or kind of not as good as he should be depending on your point of view.
Going into 2014 Spring Training Barnes will enjoy his first trip around the other MLB talent. His 2013 minor league season included a lot of walks, a high WHIP and an ERA over 4.00. Those could sound disappointing but then he is only a couple of years into his minor league career and is already seeing Triple-A time. What gives?
If you happen to be looking at his stats sheet you would want to scan across it, look away from the ERA and over to the strikeouts per nine innings column. His 2013 number was well over 11 strikeouts per nine innings and he was a starter for most of the year. See, now you know why there is a lot of excitement about him.
While his stuff might eventually lend itself to him coming out of the bullpen, the Red Sox certainly have someone special on their hands in Barnes. The fact that all of his numbers do not look so special is immaterial. He’ll be an MLB pitcher in one way or another soon. Expect his 2014 Spring Training performance to include a few ups and downs.