2021 Los Angeles Dodgers Player Reviews: Austin Barnes

Originally published by DodgerBlue.com

The 2021 season marked Austin Barnes’ seventh with the Los Angeles Dodgers, who was acquired from the Miami Marlins in a December 2014 trade that also involved the likes of Andrew Heaney and Kiké Hernandez, among others.

Barnes has filled the role of backup catcher for most of his time with the organization, and that continued to be the case last year as he played in 77 games.

Mostly known for his defense, Barnes hit .215/.299/.345 with eight doubles, six home runs and 23 RBI in 225 plate appearances. Although Barnes received most of his opportunities behind the plate, the 32-year-old also logged 18.1 innings at second base.

Despite not providing much value offensively, Barnes still registered a positive WAR for a fifth consecutive season (0.4). He was included on all three of the Dodgers’ postseason rosters but went hitless in two at-bats.

Barnes’ 2021 highlight

Barnes enjoyed his best performance of the 2021 season on Sept. 1 when he went 2-for-3 with a home run in a 4-3 win over the Atlanta Braves.

Barnes also came through with several clutch hits over the course of the year, including a game-tying pinch-hit homer against the San Francisco Giants on May 28.

“I was just trying to get a pitch down in the zone and put a good swing on it. I wasn’t trying to hit a home run, but I was trying to pull one,” Barnes said after the game. “Thankfully got a barrel, and it went out.”

2022 outlook

Barnes is entering the final season of a two-year contract and is due to become a free agent after the 2022 campaign. He figures to continue serving as the Dodgers’ backup catcher and could potentially earn even more playing time if Clayton Kershaw re-signs with the club.

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