Thursday, February 11, 2010

Top 15 Pitchers: #6 Nick Barnese

Nick Barnese
6'2" 170 lbs DOB: 1/11/1989
Right-Handed Pitcher
Bats: Right | Throws: Right
2009: Bowling Green Hot Rods
Acquired: 2007 Draft, 3rd Round, 95th Overall

Nick Barnese and Matt Moore were considered neck-and-neck in terms of prospect status entering the 2009, but things got off to a shaky start for the right hander when he battled shoulder tendinitis in the spring and had to start the year in extended spring training. He didn't make his debut until June, where showed what made him a top prospect, but also battled inconsistency.

While his ERA remained nearly steady from 2008 to 2009(2.45 to 2.53), a big drop in his strikeout rate from 11.5 per 9 down to 7.5 caused his FIP(fielding-independent pitching), which was a terrific 1.99 in 2008, to rise to 3.43. Of his 21 earned runs allowed over 14 starts*, 11 of them came in three games. He showed he can be dominant at times; in five starts he allowed two hits or fewer.

*he actually started 15 games, but one was quickly suspended to due to rain after only 1 IP

Barnese's bread-and-butter pitch is a 91-93 fastball with plus life. It's a touch pitch to square up, often times resulting in a groundball. He pitches very aggressively with it, and isn't afraid to challenge a hitter in any count. His breaking pitches show good potential, but need work. His hard slurve has good break, but he needs to command it better, while his change-up flashes plus potential and keeps hitters off balance.

At this point, Barnese needs a full season to develop consistency and make adjustments. The shoulder injury and the drop in strikeout rate are both red flags, but it's likely there was some cause-and-effect there. His numbers should rebound with a healthy year, which will begin in Charlotte, again teamed with Matt Moore at the top of the rotation.


  1. Torres or Barnese?

    From what I read, I would take Torres.

  2. I still can't get past Torres' iffy control. He's yet to show he can throw consistent strikes at any level. Like the stuff, love the groundball rate, not sure about the small frame, and don't like the control.

  3. Barnese. His scouting report just plain reads better.

  4. Torres gets the "he's so young for AA" hype but he's really only pitched about 35 innings there. So Barnese is a little over a year younger and will start at A+ while Torres starts at AA. Almost even.

    Torres is a lefty, so some nod there.

    Barnese has had some nicks, but nothing major, still a nod to Torres.

    Barnese wins on the control, as Kevin said.

    Projectability also goes to Barnese.

    So the obvious choice is... Alex Cobb :)

    Seriously, all three are close. Cobb is only 2 months older than Torres, and they'll both be in AA to start 2010. Cobb doesn't have the control issues.

    Depends on who you listen to. Kevin and I each have them: Cobb, Barnese, Torres. BA and Sickels have them: Torres, Barnese, Cobb (by a wide margin). Just like Kevin and I have Davis over Hellickson, and BA and JS have Hellickson over Davis.

    Doesn't mean we're right and they're wrong, just different weighting of things. The Davis/Hellickson thing is very close, no wrong answer. And the Torres/Barnese/Cobb is too.

    Cobb is the only one who stands out, KG and I both have him at #7, BA has him at #21 and JS at #17 (on the overall top 30 lists). And don't think KG and I are just fanboys, we we're both doubters going into last season. He's just continued to prove us wrong, and hopefully in 2010, he'll prove BA and JS wrong too.

  5. I see it as the Moore and Barnese could probaly be in AA by this year(not to start but at some point) but because of Tampa's pitching situation they dont need or have to rush anyone as some organizations do and because some organizations do rush or advance spects quicker than some those players get more hype than others that have almost equal or better stuff.One example is look at Casey Kelly.Im not calling Kelly overrated but he would be as talked about if not for making A so fast and if Moore or Barnese made the same path as he has, they would most likely be talked about equally.