6'2" 170 lbs DOB: 1/11/1989
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.