The Boston Red Sox selected Matt Barnes with the 19th pick of the 2011 MLB Dirst-Year Player Draft. The 23-year-old, right-handed pitcher attended the University of Connecticut. Barnes stands 6’3″ tall and weighs 195 lbs. This season Barnes posted an 11-5 record with a 1.93 ERA in 17 starts. In 121 innings he issued 33 free passes and struck out 117 batters. Barnes was slotted as the 10th overall pick by Wally Fish in the S2S Mock Draft.
Barnes features a plus mid 90′s fastball that was largely considered one of the best in the draft. The arsenal also includes a solid upper 70′s curveball and a fringy change-up. To succeed in the big leagues Barnes would obviously need to refine his change-up or learn to comfortably throw a different third pitch. His control and lack of command at times is possibly why he slipped to the 19th pick. Regardless, he has the tools and work ethic to continue to develop into a solid starter.
What They Say:
His mechanics are clean and his command is very strong for a power pitcher. He profiles out as a number two starter, and was considered a candidate for as early as the sixth or seventh pick of the draft at one point.
ESPNs Keith Law:
Love the Barnes pick. Funny how the Sox just kind of sat there … and that fell to them.
To put in perspective, some early mocks had Barnes as high as the middle of the top 10. Such a deep draft, somebody great was going to fall this far.
Getting a pitcher like Barnes 19th overall is an absolute steal. Barnes was highly regarded as a top ten pick in the majority of mock drafts. At the very lowest, Barnes was still thought of as a top fifteen pick. He will need time down on the farm to refine his pitches and work out noted inconsistencies in his delivery. However, Barnes is a very solid pick with front-line to middle of the rotation potential for the Red Sox. At the very worst I see Barnes as an above average reliever.
Keep an eye on Matt Barnes as he continues down his road to the show.