The Reds have signed a draft pick who had slipped to the later rounds because of signability concerns and a commitment to Georgia Tech. The Reds selected Tucker Barnhart, high school catcher from Brownsburg, Indiana, and 2009 Indiana Mr. Baseball, in the 10th round of the June amateur draft. Barnhart was graded by many as 3rd-4th round talent. Baseballdraftreport.com ranked him 7th on their list of top 20 high school catchers.

7. Tucker Barnhart (Indiana) – slight of frame (5-10ish, 170), but a very valuable defensive player with a knack for squaring up balls; routinely shows off well above-average footwork behind plate; known to chart pitches and do advance scouting on future opponents on his high school team’s off days; another player who may be best served heading off to the Asher Roth approved world of college, he’s a Georgia Tech commit who could grow into a premium draft in three years; if he can’t catch full-time, I’d love to see what he could do at second base – I think he has enough athleticism to handle the switch with enough repetitions

According to reports in the Indianapolis Star, the contract has been agreed to for a while. Barnhart and the team had to wait for approval from the commissioner’s office, which is standard procedure for above draft slot bonuses. The bonus is reportedly in the upper 4th round price range.

Barnhart has kept himself in shape while awaiting the commissioner’s approval and has been in Sarasota the past week working out with the team. He made his debut Tuesday as the designated hitter, batting 2nd. Although he’ll still be looking for his first professional hit in his next game, Barnhart did pick up his first RBI (first inning groundout following a leadoff triple) and his first run scored (walked in the 8th, later scoring on a triple) in what would be a 1-run GCL Reds victory.

There are 3 weeks remaining in the GCL season.

The most prominent Indiana Mr. Baseball, so far? Scott Rolen was named Indiana Mr. Baseball in 1993.

13 Responses

  1. Big Doofus

    The Brownsburg program is a relatively new machine when it comes to Midwestern high school baseball. Drew Storen played at Stanford and is quickly making his way up through the Nats organization. Lance Lynn was working his way up through the Cards organization but I haven’t heard from him lately.

    The kid should be a sound ball-player.

  2. GRF

    Big, thanks for the info. Good to know.

  3. Glenn

    I guess they’re stocking up on catchers this month.

  4. Dan

    This is a VERY good signing from what I’ve read. Happy to see the Reds go “over-slot” here and there to get somebody like Barnhart.

    The ones I’m most curious about now (other than the top couple picks) are the 2 shortstops we took back-to-back in rounds 17 and 18, Deven Marrero and Stephen Perez. It sounded like they’d require over-slot money too.

    From what I read, they’re slick — they’re real live shortstops — so I’d LOVE to see us get one or both of them!

  5. Big Doofus

    Wait, so you think we should play someone OTHER than Gonzalez? That’s crazy talk. Next thing you’re going to say is that Willie Taveras shouldn’t be our lead-off batter. 😀

  6. GRF

    JJ Hardy was sent down by Milwaukee. Since they seem willing to do deals within the division, any value in trying to buy low on him?

  7. GRF

    Would be nice Jello 🙂

    Seriously though, they brought up their SS of the future up Escobar. I know Hardy has really struggled this season, but he is not eligible for free agency until 2011, and I like him better than anyone we have on the roster. I would at least make the call.

  8. David

    Actually GRF, but for the move, Hardy was scheduled to be a FA after next season. I think Hardy was sent down and kept off waivers because if he is in Nashville for 20 days or more, then Hardy will be under control through 2011. Simple math says two years of Hardy brings more trade value than one year of Hardy.

    This all may be moot (and I will be wrong) if the Brewers bring him up within the next twenty days.

  9. Glenn

    If I’m Hardy, I’m thinking the Brewers just screwed me over big time.

  10. GregD

    Barnhart has started in 3 straight games for the GCL Reds since signing – two at DH and last night at catcher. Twice batting #2 and once batting #3. He picked up his first hit last night.

  11. Rhett

    @Dan:
    You’ll like Tucker. I called the play by play of his games at Brownsburg last spring. He’s a great kid who takes a TON of pride in his defense. I wonder about his hitting because the competition he faces at this level is, well, high school. But he’s so quick behind the plate and not afraid to use that strong and accurate arm.

  12. pinson343

    Tucker sounds like a good kind of signing.

    I like Hardy.