Barrett Barnes is getting closer to returning from his latest hamstring injury. The center fielder played seven innings today in a GCL game, marking the third straight game where he has played seven. The Pirates have him progressing on a rehab schedule where he will play three games at five innings, three at seven, and three full games. Barnes has played the first six games, and will progress to full games as the next part of his rehab.
That will begin after a day off tomorrow. Barnes will then play full games in the GCL on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday to complete his rehab. There’s a chance that he could be moved to Bradenton at the end of the rehab, rather than going back to West Virginia. The move would be somewhat aggressive, in the sense that he hasn’t seen much success in West Virginia. However, considering the circumstances, an aggressive move might be warranted.
Barnes has missed a lot of time the last two years due to hamstring problems. He only had 183 at-bats in West Virginia last year, and only played in four games this year. He was drafted out of college in 2012, and would have been in Bradenton by now if he would have remained healthy. His numbers haven’t been good so far, but that’s probably due to the fact that his injuries have prevented him a chance to get consistent playing time.
He was highly rated for his bat out of the 2012 draft, and the hope is that the bat would start to come through if he gets consistent playing time. Barnes is also strong defensively in center field, so it would make sense to challenge his bat when he returns, while also giving him time in center. Austin Meadows will be taking center field in West Virginia, which means the only chance for Barnes to play center would be in Bradenton.
Barnes fell out of our top 20 rankings due to the injury problems, but he’s still in the top 30. He’s got a chance to revive his prospect status if he can stay healthy and show his offensive potential the rest of the year.