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2016 Red Report: Tucker Barnhart

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What can the 25-year-old backup catcher do in 2016 to show that he has real staying power in the organization?

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Fast Facts

Tucker Barnhart was born on January 7, 1991, in Brownsburg, Indiana. He played baseball at Brownsburg High School, beginning his career the year after current major leaguers Drew Storen and Lance Lynn graduated. Mark Titus and Gordon Hayward also graduated from Brownsburg, so it seems like a pretty neat sports place.

Barnhart stands at 5'11", and clocks in at 190lbs. He's a switch-hitter and but not a switch-thrower. He's still on a pre-arb deal, so let's just say he makes "Not Joey Votto money" dollars.

Barnhart began the season as the third catcher in rotation behind Devin Mesoraco and Brayan Pena, but a hip injury to Mesoraco and a case of the "being 33 years old"'s for Pena resulted in Tucker making 81 appearances behind the dish and 279 appearances at the plate.

A positive thing about Tucker is that he jams to cool and good music with the Reds' probable closer. A negative thing about Tucker is that he chooses very poorly in deciding which celebrities he wants to hang out with.

Organizational History

Drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the 10th round of the 2009 amateur draft.
Signed August 4, 2009. (All Transactions)
Debut: April 3, 2014 (Age 23.086, 18,180th in MLB history) vs. STL 4 AB, 0 H, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0 SB

Projections

Courtesy of Rotochamp

If that's not the most backup catcher projection set I've ever seen I don't know what is.

Pitchf/x:

So Tucker faces a lot more righties than he does lefties, but this is a pretty interesting comparison to look at. First of all, lefties spend quite a bit of time attacking the strike zone against him. They also like to go low and inside on him. When it comes to right-handers though, they like attacking Barnhart low and outside, all while staying inside the strike zone quite a bit. Barnhart's exit velocity also decreased pretty steadily over the course of the season.

2016 Outlook:

Derek ran a pretty cool comparison back in November between Tucker and former Red Ryan Hanigan that is worth checking out, because it provides a neat reference point for what we once valued not just as an ideal backup catcher, but as a plenty competent starter. Barnhart's already in his eighth year of playing baseball professionally, and has many more years in front of him to improve. He'll be around baseball for a long time because of his arm. All that's left to see is whether or not his bat takes the necessary steps to make him a legitimate asset.