Friday, April 30, 2010

Is Clint Barmes Finished?

Since Toz partially addressed this in his last post about Eric Young Jr., I thought I'd take a look this morning at Clint Barmes and how Young's call-up impacts Barmes' future Roto value.

Barmes is a 31-year-old middle infielder for the Rockies who has bounced around for a while between second and shortstop for the organization, and picking up some or most of the AB at one of the middle infield positions for the Rockies between 2005-2009. The exception was 2007, when he spent almost the entire year in the minors after a horrid 2006.

In his 2003 Baseball Prospect Book, John Sickels identified Barmes as a future utility type as opposed to a future regular.
Clint Barmes looks like a future utility infielder to me. He's got a little power and a little speed. He makes contact, but doesn't draw a lot of walks, or post hot batting averages and on-base marks. He'll kill a cripple pitch on occasion, but struggles against really good stuff. He is adequate defensively at shortstop, not terrific, but not a liability. Barmes has an excellent work ethic, and is said to be a good clubhouse presence, also things of value in a backup. I don't think he'll hit enough to be a regular, but he should have a career.
Sickels' crystal ball was mostly accurate on this one. Barmes has managed to get a lot of AB as a starter, but he's been somewhat stretched in the role. His biggest problem is his subpar numbers against RHP; he has put up a 670 OPS in his career against righties with a meager 288 OBP. His defense is somewhat better than Sickels envisioned - this has a lot to do with the work ethic that Sickels mentioned above - but we're talking about a somewhat above average fielder, not a Gold Glover.

Barmes earned $20 in 4x4 in 2009 and $18 in 5x5. He went for an average salary of $13 this spring. Owners were being somewhat cautious given Barmes profile, but were mostly looking at the 23/76/12 line and thinking potential bargain at $13.

With Young in the fold, Barmes is bound to get less playing time. Conveniently for the Rockies, Young is a stronger hitter against RHP than LHP, so it could wind up being a straight platoon. However, Barmes started twice after Young's call-up against RHP so I'm not sure if that's how it will play out or not. Another possibility is Young as a 2B/OF supersub. Young did work on his versatility in winter ball and I wouldn't rule that out either.

Regardless of which position Young plays, Barmes' value is going to take a hit. If you own him and were counting on 20/80/10 production, you probably will want to scale that back more than just a little bit.

No comments: