Welcome to the show Matt Barnes
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It really seems like every time you glance at the screen there’s a new hot prospect the Sox have called up.
While Mookie Betts and Christian Vasquez have been stealing the show with Rusney Castillo nipping at their heels, it can be easy to forget a few other stars in the Sox farm system.
One such bright star of the future is none other than right handed pitcher Matt Barnes the former UConn Huskies ace who dazzled scouts while in college and has been sharper than ever as he continues to develop.
I’ve been hearing about Barnes for a while now, the Sox drafted him out of college a few years back from UConn with high hopes that the big righty could turn into the next big power pitcher in their staff. He’s a big kid (6’4″ 205lbs) and boy can he throw hard (mid-nineties fastball). Despite posting an average ERA (3.64 over two years) the big righty has posted a career strikeout per nine-innings ratio of 9.4, which is absolutely dominant for those not quite as statistically inclined. .
Now Barnes and his incredible strikeout rate are in the majors as the Sox called him up earlier Monday afternoon. Barnes is projected as a starting pitcher but he will be pitching out of the bullpen for the Sox while he’s here in September. The big righty had a tough year in 2014 as he suffered from shoulder issues early on, but a lower workload should help him finish the year strong.
Barnes features an electric fastball alongside a decent slew of off speed stuff. PawSox manager Rich Sauveur has a great deal to say about the prized pitching prospect.
“He was up and down most of the first part of the season,” Sauveur said. “What we’re trying to do is just stay compact instead of getting real long, tilting his back and trying to get his arm at a higher slot. He’s done a great job working on this in the [bullpen sessions] and then carried it over to the games.”
No matter what happens it’s good to see Barnes in the Fens, the kid will be an exciting and dynamic player to watch and could be a premier righty in their rotation for years to come.