But when the season opened, Padres manager Bruce Bochy dropped the rookie to the No. 8 spot in the order to relieve him of some pressure.
Barfield got off to a slow start, going 8-for-31 in his first 10 starts in the No. 8 slot. And when he was promoted to the No. 2 slot on April 13 in Florida, Barfield went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.
Still, when the Padres arrived in Denver on Monday, Bochy decided to return Barfield to the No. 2 spot. The 23-year-old responded by going 7-for-15 in the three games with two triples, his first major league homer, five runs, two RBIs and his fourth stolen base of the season.
"I think [consistency is] something that I really focus on," Barfield said.
"He can handle the bat in the No. 2 slot," said Bochy, who probably will drop Barfield down in the order again when center fielder Mike Cameron comes off the disabled list -- perhaps as early as this weekend.