Pirates prospect interview: Barrett Barnes

Outfielder Barrett Barnes was an all-star in his first professional season as a member of the Pirates organization. Barnes taken 45th overall in the 2012 MLB Draft. He hit .288 in 38 games with the Class A State College with five home runs and 24 RBI. He suffered a season-ending stress fracture in his left ankle at the end of July. PiratesDugout.com's George Von Benko spoke with Barnes recently.

GVB – You got off to a great start at State College, suffering the leg injury had to be a big disappointment?

BB – We thought it was a minor strain because the first X-rays came up negative. A few days after that the pain had not subsided and we back for an MRI and that's when we found the stress fracture in my left ankle. I am going through rest and rehab, but they have identified some hip adductor inflammation., so I have not and will not play in any games in the instructional league.

GVB – You were hitting well in the 38 games you played at State College, were you pleased?

BB – Yeah, I did alright at State College. I could have done a little bit better. I played through that ankle pain for about a week and a half. There were some painful games I went through, but I'll take what I got and I enjoyed the opportunity to be out there.

GVB – How did it feel being named a New York-Penn League All-Star in your first professional season?

BB – I'm blessed and very grateful for the opportunity and it's a great honor. Personally, I wasn't too happy with my start in professional baseball. It could've gone a lot better. I had a lot to prove, which I didn't get a chance to do because of the injury cutting my season short. I'm thankful that what I did was enough to get me the honor of being an all-star. I definitely hope that next season I get to play the entire season and prove to everyone why I was a first-round pick and why I was drafted where I was.

GVB – Did anything surprise you about your first taste of professional baseball?

BB – Maybe the daily grind, having to go out there and practice everyday and then play after you practice. As far as competition it was about what I expected and I think I came in prepared for it.

GVB – You came out of a good baseball conference in the Big 12 and played against great competition. Did that help prepare you for what you faced in proffesional baseball?

BB – I think that first season at Class A short season State College probably wasn't as difficult as the Friday and Saturday games we play in the Big 12. It prepared me well and hopefully prepared me for the next step next season. I think it made a big difference in the way I play the game and the style of the game I play, that all comes from playing that type of competition week in and week out in west Texas.

GVB – When you got started up at State College were then any things that they had you working on?

BB – We really didn't really work on anything, they kind of sat back and watched me play to see what they needed me to work on. Unfortunately I didn't get to work on a lot of things because of my ankle.

GVB – What was your initial reaction on draft day when you were selected by the Pirates?

BB – I was pick 45, but they called me around pick 38 or 39. We talked and we negotiated and around pick 42, so I knew I would be going at 45 unless someone picked me up before without calling me or anything crazy like that. It's a lot of excitement. My family was there along with some neighbors and some close family friends. It was such a great experience. I am very thankful for it and it'll be a day I never forget

GVB – You got your deal done fairly quick, were you anxious to get your professional career started?

BB – Yeah, I've been waiting for that day my entire life. The negotiations took longer than I wanted, I was ready to sign June 6th. It all came down to working out the college stuff and getting the rest of my classes paid for and that took about a week, but then a fter that we were ready to go.

GVB – We've heard about your bat, tell me about your defense?

BB – It's got a way's to go, because I've only been playing the outfield for about a year and a half. I've got a lot of things to learn.

GVB – Even though you missed some time are you hoping to move up the ladder next season?

BB – Yeah, definitely trying to move up the ladder every chance I get. I think I have a good opportunity to move out of that short A level next year, but it all comes down to me being healthy and showing some of my work everyday and perform and get better. We'll see what happens when I go to spring training in March.

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