Reds Have Depth Behind The Plate
CINCINNATI — Everyone knows who the No. 1 catching prospect in the Reds organization is. Devin Mesoraco is the catcher of the future.
But Tucker Barnhart gives the Reds good depth at the position. Barnhart, a 21-year-old switch-hitter, won the 2011 Gold Glove for the entire minor leagues. That's quite an honor, considering Barnhart spent the year at low Class A Dayton. He committed two errors in 97 games and threw out 47 percent of basestealers.
Barnhart started the 2012 season at high Class A Bakersfield. He hit .278/.377/.409 in 198 at-bats there, earning a promotion to Double-A Pensacola. He struggled a bit there, hitting .200/.262/.292 in 130 at-bats.
"I was pretty happy with the year, being able to move up a level during the season," Barnhart said. "It was the first time I've done that. It was honor you could call it. Maybe that's not the right word. But I was happy that it happened.
"I wasn't happy with my stats. There's an adjustment process. It took a little longer than I would have liked. I definitely can improve."
Barnhart was the Reds' 10th-round pick in the 2009 draft out of Brownsburg High in suburban Indianapolis. He will return to big league camp in 2013.
"I think it really helps," he said. "To be around guys like (Ryan Hanigan) and (Mesoraco) and Corky Miller, you see how they go about their business on a daily basis, not necessarily on the field but in the training room and the weight room to get ready. It's a big help for young guy like myself to see what it takes to get the big leagues and stick."
• Outfielder Billy Hamilton is fully recovered from the collision he had with the outfield wall in the championship game of the Arizona Fall League. "It's good now,' he said. "But I was bruised up."
• The Reds named Jim Riggleman as the manager for Triple-A Louisville for 2013. Riggleman managed Pensacola to a 68-70 record last season.