This week the Toronto Blue Jays promoted right-handed relief pitcher Danny Barnes to the major league roster. Here’s a quick profile.
Barnes was drafted by the Blue Jays in the 35th round in 2010 from Princeton University. He was not an especially successful pitcher in college, posting a 5.02 ERA in 95 innings over three seasons, but pro ball was another matter: he has been a dominant relief pitcher at every level.
He holds a 2.40 ERA in 326 minor league innings including a 0.35 ERA with a spectacular 37/2 K/BB in 26 innings last year in Triple-A. He received a cup-of-coffee last year and posted a 3.95 ERA in 13.2 innings and a 14/5 K/BB with the Jays. Barnes was rated as a Grade C pre-season and did not make the Toronto Blue Jays pre-season Top 20 prospects list although in retrospect he could have rated a C+.
Barnes works with a 90-94 MPH fastball. He has a cutter/slider and a change-up, but what has differentiated him over the last few years has been excellent control. He has been equally effective against left and right-handed hitters in the minors, so he is not necessarily confined to ROOGY work. Overall, this is a middle relief profile but a good one, and a reminder that you can find talent in the 35th round.