Brandon Barnes has been known to be a human highlight reel in the outfield for the Astros this year, but honestly, in my opinion, he's not going to make the Astros roster next season if he keeps playing like he's been playing recently.
The 26-year-old rookie outfielder is slashing .241/.290/.347 with 8 HR & 41 RBI on the season, but it's his strikeouts that waves a red flag. Barnes has struck out 125 times in his 424 plate appearances this season, including 15 strikeouts in his last 31 plate appearance entering Thursday. He's never been known to be a real consistent hitter for the Astros & is only in the lineup for his stellar defense.
However, that stellar defense won't make up for what he lacks at the plate come next season.
Next season the Astros are most likely going to call up their #3 prospect, 24-year-old outfielder George Springer. If you don't follow minor league baseball, let's just say Springer is the "LeBron" or "Kobe" of minor league baseball. He nearly became the first 40/40 (40 homers & 40 stolen bases in the same season) player since 1956, as the last minor league player to accomplish that feat was Len Tucker. Tucker hit 51 homers while swiping 47 bases back in the 1956 season. Springer hit 37 homers & stole 45 bases this past season, which will probably mean he is more than ready for the majors.
His power-speed combo will certainly put him ahead of Barnes next season in the Spring Training battle for starting center fielder, so at best, Barnes is a 4th outfielder for the Astros next season. However, Barnes will probably not be a 4th outfielder for the Astros next season. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if he's in the minors next year.
L.J Hoes & Robbie Grossman will probably occupy the corner outfield positions next year. Hoes is slashing .277/.328/.361 with a homer & 10 RBI this season, while Grossman is slashing .268/.332/.368 with 4 HR & 21 RBI for the year. Both have above average fielding abilities, which puts both Hoes & Grossman ahead of Barnes next year as well.
So who will be that 4th outfielder to force Barnes down to the minors next season?
Honestly, I can't give you the answer to that, BUT what I do know is that the Astros will probably go out & sign an outfielder with a solid bat in the off season because it's something they've lacked dearly this past season. Whoever that outfielder may be, he'll be better than Brandon Barnes. I guarantee it.
It'll be interesting to see what the Astros do this coming off season, because whatever it is will probably land Brandon Barnes in the minors.