One of the most silent, but key, factors this season for the Los Angeles Dodgers has been former Arizona State standout catcher Austin Barnes.
Time at Arizona State
Barnes was not drafted out of high school, so he elected to join the forces of Sun Devil nation.
As a freshman, Barnes was not a regular starter, but found his way into 20 games, totaling seven hits in 17 plate appearances. The next two seasons, Barnes held down the starting catcher spot and during his junior season earned himself First Team All-Pac-10 by slashing .320/.376/.444. He also boasted a sparkling .994 fielding percentage.
Where is he now?
Barnes did not see a major league field with Florida, but in 2014 was sent to the Dodgers in a seven-player deal that sent 2B Dee Gordon and RHP Dan Haren to the Marlins and in return Los Angeles got Barnes, INF Enrique “Kiké” Hernandez, LHP Andrew Heaney and RHP Chris Hatcher.
Barnes has now played three seasons with the Dodgers. During the first two he only totaled 74 plate appearances, but this year is well on pace to break that with 69 plate appearances in 25 total games.
Barnes hit his first major league home run this season against the Arizona Diamondbacks on April 15.
Barnes also hit a walk off double against the Pittsburgh Pirates to give the Dodgers a 4-3 victory on May 9.
While there is still a lot of baseball to be played, the future is looking brighter by the season for this young former Sun Devil catcher.