¾ arm slot; easy and controlled delivery; creates leverage/steep plane via leg drive and follow through in line with home plate; keeps head and eyes on target; soft landing on front foot; at times loses balance on landing causing feet to drift and weight to veer toward first base; low energy expending delivery; repeats mechanics; delivery and body of starting pitcher.
Pawtucket Red Sox (AAA, Red Sox)
No 2 starter
Command: solid-average. Movement: arm-side run in lower tier of zone; late downward finish in lower tier when thrown glove side; flat when elevated above the middle of thighs. Threw strikes to both sides of the plate and in total velocity band; reached for velocity when needed; pounded zone early and elevated late; can miss target and back into plate on the glove side.
Command: Fringe-average. Movement: 11-to-5 break; flashes deep, overhand break, but inconsistent. Loose and slurvy in upper range of velocity. Struggled finishing pitch; tends to wrap wrist rather than pull downwards; got better deeper into outing; presently lacks power; needs to miss more bats.
Command: average. Movement: arm-side fade with drop; occasional cut to glove-side. Throws with two-seam grip; improved arm-speed to that of fastball; developing trust in any count; increased feel; more of a contact inducing pitch; will hold onto too long.
Fastball-dominant outing for Barnes, as 28 of first 34 pitches were fastballs; consistently got ahead of hitters by pounding strike zone early and often with heater; spots up well to both sides of the plate; did not need much of secondary offerings, but worked to mix them into sequences in fourth and fifth innings; velocity and movement made up for mistakes; will need to be selective when elevating fastball in higher levels; can't afford to consistently work in upper tier of strike zone due to lacking life when he gets underneath the baseball; needs to find consistency with curveball. Fought to snap off the pitch during start; changeup has evolved into viable offering, with less firmness.
Overall, project Barnes as a solid third or fourth starter at the major-league level, as arsenal is currently constructed. Potential for more due to feel there is future growth with curveball. Barnes’ curve flashed solid-average-to-plus break, but needs repetition locking into consistent arm slot. Tended to speed up at the end of delivery when throwing, to lose balance. Presently, he is not pressed to deepen pitch sequences due to caliber of fastball and ability to command/control offering against competition. More advanced hitters will force Barnes to either improve execution of secondary offerings or stagnate towards reaching ceiling. Present stuff is good enough to reach big leagues. Still building stamina; although Barnes was not taxed in the outing, velocity started to drop after 65 pitches. The pitcher has the body and delivery to log 200-plus innings. Feel Barnes needs a full year or so of seasoning before entering the major league mix.
Other:In control during entire outing; level demeanor and body language on the mound; was not rattled; did not have best fastball velocity, but blended elements of power and finesse when situation called for it; lost 1-2 mph after 65 pitches; was not taxed in any inning; high pitchability and IQ; showed understanding of how to execute craft.