Former River Bat Austin Barnes Debuts with Dodgers
Barnes is the 128th former Northwoods League player to debut in MLB
Rochester, Minn. – Former St. Cloud River Bats catcher Austin Barnes made his Major League debut for the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday, May 24, 2015. Barnes is the 128th former Northwoods League player to reach the Major League level.
Barnes, who played collegiately at Arizona State University, played for the St. Cloud River Bats in 2010. Barnes was drafted by the Miami Marlins in the 9th round of the 2010 MLB draft.
In 2010 with the River Bats, Barnes hit .239 with 1 homerun and 10 RBI over 27 games. He also added 6 doubles and 5 steals.
Barnes began his Minor League career in 2011 with the Jamestown Jammers in the Short-Season A New York-Penn League. Over 57 games he hit .288 with 13 doubles and drove in 19 runs.
In 2012 Barnes was promoted and spent the season with the Low-A Greensboro Grasshoppers in the South Atlantic League. In 123 games with the Grasshoppers, Barnes hit .318 with 12 homeruns and 65 RBI. He also hit 36 doubles, three triples and stole nine bases.
The 2013 season saw Barnes start the year with the Jupiter Hammerheads of the Hi-A Florida State League before being promoted, after 98 games, to the AA Southern League with the Jacksonville Suns. Between the two teams Barnes hit a combined .272 with five homeruns, 17 doubles and 45 RBI.
Barnes once again split time between Jupiter and Jacksonville during the 2014 season. Overall he hit .304 with 13 homeruns, 31 doubles, four triples and 11 stolen bases.
Prior to the 2015 season Barnes was traded to the Dodgers from Miami with Andrew Heaney, Enrique Hernandez and Chris Hatcher for Dee Gordon, Dan Haren and Miguel Rojas.
Barnes opened up the 2015 season in Oklahoma City with the Dodgers of the AAA Pacific Coast League. Through 29 games, Barnes was hitting .290 with three homeruns, five doubles, five stolen bases and 13 runs batted in before his promotion.
In his Major League debut, versus the San Diego Padres, Barnes was the starting catcher and went 1 for 3 at the plate. He recorded his first Major League hit, a single, in the bottom of the 8th inning off of Padres reliever Dale Thayer.
The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. The 21 year old summer collegiate league is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 18 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, more than 120 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (WAS), Curtis Granderson (NYM), Lucas Duda (NYM) and Ben Zobrist (OAK). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. For more information, visit www.northwoodsleague.com.