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July 4, 2013

Growing Pains

Barnes' stats are ordinary but his potential is extraordinary

(Continued)

“I think I’ve learned a little bit more about myself and know what’s wrong,” Barnes said. “If something kind of gets off during the course of a game I can kind of correct it, hopefully, within that at-bat or inning.”

Barnes spoke with The Eagle-Tribune after a recent start against Trenton, when he walked five batters in 5.0 innings but didn’t surrender any runs and allowed just three hits.

“Obviously my command was off,” Barnes said. “It wasn’t good at all. But I was still able to make pitches when I had to.”

The right-hander’s numbers dropped off during the second half of last year while he began working more on his changeup, which he now considers his second best pitch behind his fastball.

“The fastball’s playing well and the changeup, I’ve made a lot of strides with it,” he said. “I feel comfortable with it. I can throw it in any count whenever I want.

“And the curveball has made strides this year, too. I struggled with that at the end of last year and a little bit at the beginning of this year. But as of late, I’m starting to find the release point consistently and I’ve been able to use that as a weapon.”

Top 10 Red Sox Prospects

Here is how I rate the prospects. All stats are through Tuesday.

1. Xander Bogaerts, SS: Baseball America ranked this 20-year-old the No. 8 prospect in pro baseball entering this year. After posting a .311 average and .407 on-base percentage in 56 games at Double-A Portland, he recently was promoted to Triple-A Pawtucket, where he has four homers, 11 RBIs, a .254 average and .342 OBP in 18 games (67 at-bats). He will play in the All-Star Futures Game.

2. Allen Webster, RHP: Baseball America ranked this 23-year-old the 49th best prospect entering this season. He is starting games for Boston with Clay Buchholz on the DL. He is 5-1 with a 2.98 ERA in 10 starts for Pawtucket.

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