Tucker Barnhart entered the 2013 season back where he ended his 2012 season as he hoped to rebound after struggling in Pensacola in the second half last year. He spent the full year in Pensacola behind the plate for the Blue Wahoos.
April got off to a quick start for Tucker Barnhart as he went 2-4 with a solo home run in his first game of the season and followed that up with a 3-3 effort. He went into a slump though going 0-10 over the next 3 games. The next two games saw a 5-6 effort with a walk before going back into another 0-10 slump. Barnhart would be back and forth the rest of the month to finish out with a line of .268/.364/.357 to go along with 9 walks and 7 strikeouts. The catcher hit well in April, something he struggled to do last season at the level.
May began strong, just like April with a home run in the first game of the month. He followed that up with 6 more games with a hit before his 7-game hitting streak ended on the 11th. Barnhart went 10-27 (.370) with 2 doubles, a home run, 2 walks, 5 RBI and 3 runs. He would have a 5-game hitting streak from the 15th-20th with two doubles and a triple before going hitless on the 21st. Starting in his next game he ran off a hitting streak of seven games to end the month with a line of .284/.340/.409 with 8 walks, 19 strikeouts and 11 RBI. His strikeout rate went up, but he also hit for solid power on the month while maintaining a solid walk rate.
Barnhart carried a 7-game hitting streak into June but it came to an end on the first day with an 0-4 day. Not to be deterred, he began another hitting streak, this time going for 9 games with a 10-33 stretch (.303) with four walks and four doubles. The hitting streak came to an end on the 15th against Mobile. On the 20th the catcher went into a slump as he would go just 1-22 over six games, though he did walk three times in that stretch. He finished out the month going 3-5 with a walk over the final two games. He finished out the month with a .213/.298/.280 line with 9 walks and 15 strikeouts in 85 plate appearances.
July began with Barnhart missing the first week before returning on the 8th to start a 5-game hitting streak where he went 9-21 (.429) with a double, home run, 2 walks and 6 RBI. He would finish out the month with a 7-27 stretch with 6 walks and 7 RBI. In 61 plate appearances in the month he hit .333/.450/.438 with 9 walks and 5 strikeouts while driving in a season high 13 runs.
Tucker Barnhart carried a 2-game hitting streak into August and he extended it to eight games before it ended on the 8th. He would get two hits on the 9th but would then go into a slump, going just 3-25 over the next eight games, though he did walk 6 times in that span. Barnhart would finish out the month going 5-23 in the last week with 3 walks and 4 runs scored. For the month the catcher hit .222/.321/.278 with 10 walks and 11 strikeouts to go along with 4 doubles.
Tucker Barnhart rebounded well in Pensacola during the 2013 season as he improved across the board. At the plate he still shows some struggles from the right side of the plate where he hit just .172/.194/.234 on the season and has struggled for his career. From the left side he hit .280/.380/.375 from the left side of the plate, where he is historically stronger. Barnhart brings excellent plate discipline with him and a strong contact rate. Of course, as a catcher there is a big emphasis on defensive abilities as well. Barnhart excels behind the plate where he shows athleticism in blocking balls, an above-average throwing arm and is quiet with his receiving pitches and framing abilities. Baring something unexpected, Barnhart looks to be at worst a backup caliber Major League catcher. He has the potential to be a starter if his bat can remain solid as he continues to move up over the next two levels.
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