Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Austin Barnes has been a staple of the Los Angeles Dodgers since being acquired from the Miami Marlins in a December 2014 trade. The 2022 season was his eighth with the organization, and he continued to fill the role of backup catcher.
Barnes appeared in 62 games during the regular season and hit .212/.324/.380 with six doubles, eight home runs and 26 RBI across 212 plate appearances. He posted a 94 OPS+, which was his best mark since a breakout 2017 campaign (138).
Barnes went on to collect two hits, including a double, in three at-bats against the San Diego Padres during the National League Division Series (two games).
Although Barnes has never been a key offensive player with the Dodgers, his contributions to the team are invaluable because of his experience, game-calling and defense.
Barnes primarily caught Clayton Kershaw, who enjoyed another solid campaign in his 15th season with the team. The left-hander went 12-3 with a 2.28 ERA, 2.57 FIP and 0.94 WHIP in 126.1 innings pitched across 22 starts.
Despite being flush with organizational talent at the catcher position, the Dodgers re-signed Barnes to a two-year, $7 million contract extension that runs through the 2024 season. The 33-year-old’s deal included a signing bonus and incentives for games played and performance bonuses.
“It’s a great organization, obviously, and I’ve been part of some special teams,” Barnes said at the time. “I think that’s part of the future, too. It’s either World Series or nothing,” Barnes said of signing the contract extension. “That’s the kind of team I want to be part of.”
Austin Barnes 2022 highlight
Barnes enjoyed his best performance of the 2022 season on September 20, when he went 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBI against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Barnes also went 3-for-4 with a double, RBI and walk against the Philadelphia Phillies on May 13.
Under contract for at least two more seasons, Barnes figures to continue serving as the Dodgers’ backup catcher and personal backstop to Kershaw.
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