Copyrighted by Sarah Morris, 2021
Austin Barnes was the backup catcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and he did well in that unglamorous role. Some Dodger fans thought Barnes should have appeared more during the playoffs since he has a unique ability to work with pitchers.
Though Barnes is not a good offensive player, he has a knack of producing the important hit. Arguably, he was the best Dodger pinch hitter during the 2021 season. As a pinch hitter, he had a .333 batting average with two home runs. Overall, he had a .215 batting average with six home runs.
Barnes is an outstanding defensive catcher even though he cannot throw out potential base stealers well. He pounces on a ball like a cat would. He frames pitches perfectly and seems to read his pitchers’ minds. He studies scouting reports tirelessly to know what to call for. He sets a low target, which most pitchers like, but he can set a high target when the situation calls for it.
At 31, Barnes is the perfect backup catcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers.