On December 3rd, 2013, the Colorado Rockies would trade center fielder Dexter Fowler to the rebuilding Houston Astros for Jordan Lyles and Brandon Barnes. Initially, many people figured the trade for the Rockies centered around starter Jordan Lyles and figured Brandon Barnes was just a throw-in. Well, Barnes is proving that he was more than just that.
Rockies fans didn’t know what they were getting in Brandon Barnes who was 27-years-old at the time of the trade. In 2013, he played his first full season at the big league level, hitting at a line of .240/.289/.346 with 17 doubles, 1 triple, 8 home runs, and 41 RBI’s. The year prior in 2012, he appeared in 43 games, hitting .204 with 3 doubles, 1 home run, and 7 RBI’s.
Despite going 0-for-3 with two strikeouts last night against Hyun-jin Ryu and the Los Angeles Dodgers, Barnes has provided a spark and it making an impact for the club. Just this past Saturday, the Rockies were down 4-3 heading into the ninth inning, facing a top closer in Sergio Romo of the Giants. Barnes would hit a pitch just out of the zone to the gap in right-center that took a weird bounce past Angel Pagan. The hit turned out to be a two-run, inside-the-park home run, leading the Rockies to a 5-4 win.
Barnes is currently batting .288 on the season entering Tuesday night with nine doubles, three triples, two home runs (both inside-the-park HR’s) and nine RBI’s.
Barnes has also proven to be reliable in the field as he has committed just one error in 55 total chances. He has only committed four errors in his MLB career.
One of the hardest things to do in baseball is come off of the bench cold and try to collect a hit. Well, Barnes has been thriving in that position all season long as he is currently batting 10-of-29 with 3 doubles, 1 triple, 1 home run, 2 RBI’s in pinch-hit appearances.
Barnes has provided the Rockies with a solid pinch-hit option off of the bench along with a solid fourth outfielder. Walt Weiss likes to put Barnes in the lineup when facing a southpaw to spell either Charlie Blackmon or Corey Dickerson.
Either way you look at it, Brandon Barnes has proven that he is more than just a throw-in in the Dexter Fowler trade. Acquiring he and Lyles for one player (Dex) was a steal for the Rockies and it is paying dividends. Barnes and Lyles have added depth to the Rockies club that they have desperately needed.