Danny Barnes – Fringe Prospect Turned Major Leaguer
Danny Barnes, a 35th round pick in 2010, has slowly but surely crept into the Blue Jays pen, all but cementing himself as a staple in the relief group. Since his debut in 2016, Barnes has pitched to a 3.40 ERA over 92.2 innings with a solid 1.176 WHIP.
This year, he’s been even better than that, allowing just three earned runs over 13 innings, good enough for a 2.08 ERA. He’s allowed just 13 hits and has walked five for a WHIP of 1.385. He has but one blown save, but outside of that, he’s been lights out.
Primarily serving as a middle relief man, Barnes has appeared in the seventh inning more than any other inning, pitching primarily in close games in which the Jays have a lead of three runs or less. He has thrown no more than one inning in any of his outings.
With a striking ability to wriggle his way out of tough jams, Barnes has allowed just 25% of inherited runners to score. His fastball has been electric, and he’s been able to handle some of the most frightening lineups in the division. He has four holds, which is second on the team.
With all that being said, I think it’s safe to say that while Barnes has exceeded expectations, he’s not having a fluke season by any means. Past success, along with solid mechanics, have translated excellently to an outstanding start to his year.