Catching depth has been an area of concern in past seasons for the Los Angeles Dodgers. But a solid spring training from their top catching prospect ,on top of good springs by AJ Ellis and Yasmani Grandal, have put those concerns to rest.
Austin Barnes has been as hot as the Arizona weather with four home runs in 27 at bats to go along with a .310 average.
The Riverside Poly High School graduate was part of the Dee Gordon trade. He posted solid numbers in Oklahoma City with a .315 batting average and 9 homers. Known as a pitch framer, Barnes was rated as the second best defensive catcher at any level of baseball.
Austin is the nephew of former Angels infielder Mike Gallego and has used that lineage to become a second baseman on top of catching.
Barnes is fighting for a roster spot and his versatility might earn him that spot.
During his college days at Arizona State, Barnes played catcher, second base, third base, and a few games at shortstop.
With Corey Seager injured, could Barnes and his hot bat be a replacement for the starting shortstop?
The thought of your prototypical catcher making diving stops up the middle or turning a double play seems laughable, but Austin Barnes is not built like a prototypical slow catcher.
Barnes is fast stealing 12 bases last year at Oklahoma City and has shown he can be athletic enough up the middle to play second base in the major leagues.
Looking at the other options at shortstop and looking at spring statistics from Barnes, starting him at shortstop until Seager gets back is not that bad of an idea.