I've wanted to write this article for weeks but never had the guts to do so for fear of the dreaded jinx. Brandon Barnes is having such a good night that I can no longer ignore the fact that he should enter the exclusive Killer B club that includes the likes of Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, Lance Berkman and Derek Bell, among others.
So far tonight, Barnes has made a spectacular catch:
and hit a monster home run:
The Orioles pitcher doesn't even bother to look.
that hit off the Community Leaders board in left field:
The home run is Barnes' third on the season. The catch, on the other hand, was his 539,243,231 (give or take some exaggeration). The dude has killed it and has played his way into regular playing time.
On the season, Barnes has a .344 weighted on-base average (wOBA) with a .391 batting average on balls in play (BABIP). We should expect some regression towards a .300 BABIP for Barnes, which means his offensive production is likely to decline. However, Barnes has some speed, currently has an above average line drive percentage and is in his prime years as a player, so it's possible Barnes could finish the year with an above average BABIP.
Even if Barnes' offense does decline, his value on defense can't be overlooked. Among outfielders with at least 250 innings, Barnes is in the top 10 of both defensive runs saved (DRS) and ultimate zone rating (UZR). Based on defense alone, Barnes should be given a shot to start for the Astros on a regular basis.
It took Barnes eight minor league seasons to make it to the major leagues and now he's taking advantage of that opportunity by playing hard and leaving it all out on the field, which is why I nominate him for Killer B status.