Tucker Barnhart (16) Days Until Cincinnati Reds Report to Spring Training


In just 16 days, Cincinnati Reds catchers and pitchers will report to Spring Training and begin to relieve Riverfront baseball fans of our winter blahs.  One of the players who will make that early trek to Goodyear, AZ, will be catcher Tucker Barnhart, Number 16 on our Countdown Team. 

More from Cincinnati Reds

A native on nearby Indianapolis, Barhart was selected by the Reds in the 10th round of the 2009 draft and made a slow, steady ascent through the Cincinnati minor league system.  Finally, after five years, Barnhart made his Major League debut in April of 2014.  He was sent back down to Louisville in the summer but ended up in Cincinnati once again as the season wore on and the Reds struggled.

Barnhart is not especially strong at the plate, sporting a career total of 13 home runs and a slugging percentage of .354 in the minors.  He has not been extremely durable, appearing in as many as 100 games just once, though he has shown good on-base skills (.341 career OBP in the minors).

The book on Barnhart, though, is that he is one of the more polished catching prospects in baseball behind the plate.   He always receives high marks for pitch-framing and footwork, and his strong arm and quick reflexes allow him to gun down a high percentage of would-be base-stealers — he nailed 51% of them with Billings in 2010, for example.

The problem for Barnhart, of course, is that Devin Mesoraco broke out as a budding superstar at the Major League level last season, and that the Reds rewarded Mesoraco with a big contract extension during the off-season.  Barnhart’s path in Cincinnati is blocked, then, but he could get some decent playing time as a backup to Mesoraco, who hasn’t caught more than 114 games to this point.

At just 24, you have to think that Barnhart wants more than that, so don’t be surprised if the Reds trade him at some point fairly soon.


Next: Kristopher Negron (17) Days Until Cincinnati Reds Report to Spring Training