The Game: University of Louisville at University of Connecticut – May 13, 2011
The Player: Matt Barnes (RHP, Connecticut) – Barnes entered the year as one of the best pitching prospects in the northeast, and he has maintained that mantle all season long. Heading into this weekend's series, Barnes has a 10-3 record and 1.18 ERA over 13 starts and he has allowed 55 hits and 24 walks over 99 innings, while striking out 91 batters.
Body: Tall, long levers, wide shoulders, athletic build, muscular but maintains flexibility, excellent pitchers body.
Delivery/Mechanics: High leg kick in both windup and stretch, shows ball on back side of arm action, quick arm works well, high-3/4 arm slot, good extension and follow-through out front, landing foot can be inconsistent.
Fastball (FB) Velocity (Wind-up): High – 97, Low – 92, Average – 93-94, Grade – 65/70
Fastball (FB) Velocity (Stretch): High – 96, Low 92, Average 93-94, Grade – 65/70
Fastball (FB) Movement: Comes out of hand very easy, gets on hitters quickly with some explosive life; turned a couple over with some sink. Grade – 60/60
Overall Fastball: Grade – 65/70
Curveball (CB): Tight rotation w/ excellent 11-5 break, can over-throw at times and flattens out, when thrown at 77-78 can be true hammer. High – 81, Low – 75, Average – 77-78, Grade – 55/60
Change-up (CH): Didn't show it much, appeared to lack confidence in pitch, showed some minor arm-side fade, good arm speed giving some projection. High – 86, Low – 83, Average – 83-84, Grade – 30/50
Control: Will battle landing foot and arm slot at times, losing strike zone, doesn't always work ahead, good athleticism and consistent arm slot should lend to improved strike throwing. Grade – 40/60
Command: Can get in a groove and locate FB at times, should gain consistency with experience, CB command will come as well, learning to throw out of strike zone, has to refrain from being too fine w/ FB. Grade – 30/50
Summation: Easy potential for two plus or better pitches w/ FB-CB, athleticism allows for command projection, aggressive on mound, has confidence/swagger, projects as #3 starter w/ a chance for #2.
Draft Prognosis: No doubt first round talent, hasn't missed as many bats as expected but projects to miss them down the line. Has some recent helium on a few draft boards, earning several mid-first round grades from teams. Barring a rough patch down the stretch, he should go in the first 20 picks.