Miami Marlins draft spotlight: Jared Barnes, Catcher, 8th round

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Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports /
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Nearing the end of the second day, the Marlins went somewhere other than pitching for just the second time.

With the eighth selection in the 2017 MLB Draft, the Miami Marlins selected Jared Barnes, a catcher out of South Alabama. Barnes is solid all around, featuring no outstanding abilities, but is proficient in all phases of the game.

His success at the collegiate level warranted an opportunity in professional baseball. He’s getting it. He’ll now attempt to beat the odds and trek towards the Major Leagues as an eighth round selection. The odds are long, but not insurmountable.

Barnes certainly feels as though he’s ready to make the jump to wooden bats. He officially signed with the Miami Marlins organization on Friday.

There is nothing Barnes can’t do. Many view him as a clean slate, possessing no outstanding flaws and with a solid bed of skills upon which to build. Professional coaching should help his development considerably. With significant gains, the Marlins might have a steal on their hands at 239th overall.

The catcher certainly has the body of a Major League baseball player. He stands at 6 feet tall, and weighs in at 190 pounds. He makes for a quick, defensively sound general behind the plate. Through his junior season at South Alabama, he didn’t register a single error.

He impressed at the plate as well. His .320 batting was good for fourth on his team. Couple his consistency with surprising pop, and he projects as a potential Major League caliber player in time. His 13 home runs and .605 slugging percentage were both the top mark on his team.

His consistency was impressive as well. While logging a 10 game-hit streak, he managed at least one hit in 14 of the final 16 games of the season. Six of them were multi-hit games.

Path to the Major League team

It’s going to be a long one for Barnes. Being taken in the eighth round means he’s going to be given some time to figure things out, but not too much. He won’t be afforded the countless opportunities that earlier selections will be given.

Perhaps the most encouraging indicator looking into Barnes’ future is his development at the collegiate level. Having received significant amounts of playing time all three years and showed improvement each season.

As a freshman, he managed a .240 batting average and 22 RBI’s. As a sophomore, that hiked to a .292 batting average that included six home runs and 36 RBI’s. His junior season was his best yet, and while his offensive numbers were impressive, his 40% CS rate is perhaps the most eye-popping number.

Next: Miami Marlins draft spolight: Sean Guenther, LHP, 7th round

The journey for Barnes will be a long one. However, he has proven the ability to get better as he acclimates to the level of competition. His numbers indicate a player that never seems in over his head for long.

The only real issue that is obvious to all is that he lists the Atlanta Braves as his favorite team. Uh-oh.

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