Beyond The Top 100: Scouting Matt Barnes

We recently released our annual top 100 prospects list here at, and to follow that up we will be providing team quality first-hand scouting reports on select prospects from that list over the course of the off-season. We'll also be breaking down some of the prospects who narrowly missed making the list, like Boston Red Sox prospect Matt Barnes.

Name: Matt Barnes
Position: Pitcher
Team: Boston Red Sox
Height: 6-foot-4
Weight: 205
Bats/Throws: R/R

Events Scouted: Cape Cod League, Team USA

Physical Description

Barnes is everything scouts look for in a right-handed power pitcher. He's long and wiry, and is built similar to Tigers' ace, Justin Verlander. He's high waisted, long limbed and even has a little room to pack on some muscle as he matures.


He repeats his delivery well but does some things in his delivery that throw up some red flags for scouts. There's some rough movement in his arm action, and he can afford to use his lower half a little better. Nothing in there is worth getting overly concerned about but he's not as polished mechanically as some of the other pitchers in this class. Opening up and pulling off is also an issue he needs to contend with.


The fastball is the most intriguing aspect of Barnes' game. He works steadily at 92-96 mph, and cranks it up to 97 now and then. He gets some good two-seam movement at times and shows good life through the zone. Barnes needs to be extra conscious of staying on top as he tends to get underneath and times and he sees his fastball flatten out up in the zone. His fastball will get him swings and misses at any level. The command isn't pinpoint as of yet, but he's aggressive in the zone and has the fastball life to compensate for some mistakes.


Barnes has a couple variations of his breaking ball. He throws a slider at 80-82 mph with tight, late action. He has a great deal of confidence in locating this pitch. This is a potential above average offering. He also throws a slower breaking ball at 75-77 mph. He gets under this curveball a little too often and lacks the feel he has with the harder breaking ball.


The changeup is perhaps the difference marker for Barnes. He's very confident in his 82-85 mph changeup and locates with regularity. He matches the spin of his fastball nicely and sells the arm action well. This gives him the weapon he desperately needs against lefty hitters, and it's a swing and miss offering at times with good movement down and away.


There are some delivery issues with Barnes but that's about it. He has the potential for three big league pitches. The fastball is above average with good life, and he has quality secondary offerings. If his command continues to develop and he stays healthy, this is a front of the rotation type starter in the making.

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