Toronto Blue Jays 2016 Highlights and Lowlights: Darwin Barney

Jays From the Couch brings you the Toronto Blue Jays 2016 Highlights & Lowlights for utility man, Darwin Barney.

 

 

 

http://gty.im/614898952

 

 

Year G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
2016 104 306 279 35 75 13 2 4 19 22 48 .269 .322 .373 .695 86

 

The 2016 season for Darwin Barney started on a somewhat ominous note when Toronto’s front office decided they would non-tender the utility infielder. The new incoming regime wanted to retain the player, but were not willing to pay north of $2.5 million for a part-time player. With that, they granted the Oregon native free agency after the post-season only to resign him for a $1,050,000 deal on December 11th.

 

With injuries to Devon Travis, Josh Donaldson and Troy Tulowitzki, Barney appeared in 104 games in 2016, his most on a major league roster since his time with the Cubs in 2013. His ability to play multiple positions (2B, 3B, SS, LF) allowed him to make many contributions, which can be seen in his 1.5 fWAR, and 1.8 bWAR, respectively.

 

HIGHLIGHTS

 

Barney got out of the gates quickly in 2016 by hitting 322/352/448 while appearing in 31 games through April and May. He would also hit two of the four home runs he had during the first months, along with eight of his season’s total 19 RBI.

 

With injuries and lack of production slowing down Toronto’s lineup early, Barney’s unexpected wRC+ of 115 was much needed. Even if a majority of his success was driven by a .371 BABIP, and regression was bound to happen, his production was huge for the Blue Jays during the early months. Not bad for a guy who was merely expected to fill in while Travis recovered from shoulder surgery.

 

The month of May was a great one for Barney who not only hit 339/350/475 over 21 games, but also flashed some of the defensive talent and range which earned him a gold-glove for the 2012 season.

 

This play is particularly pleasing as it involved Rougned Odor doing something ill-advised. Though this error in judgement sits low on the list of idiotic things he would do when facing Toronto during 2015.

 

 

This play ended the eighth inning of a May 31st contest versus the Yankees. It shows the range that Barney possesses, and helped him tally 9 DRS on the season while playing four different positions. Neither of which reflected below average defense, including left field.

 

 

LOWLIGHTS

 

Unfortunately, outside of his defensive contributions, Barney’s season tumbled back-to-earth between June and October. After getting off to a hot start the final four months at the plate produced a 245/310/339 slash with a wRC+ of 73. With his BABIP normalizing to .283 he showed us, as they say, exactly what the back of his baseball card said he was.

 

All things being equal the fact he outperformed his career totals of 249/297/343 with a slash of 269/322/373 for 2016 was a bonus for the club.

 

 

OUTLOOK

 

With Toronto’s front office already tendering Barney at the December 2nd deadline it looks as if he will return to the same utility role he had in 2016. The only question that should arise is the cost. With MLBTR predicting he should come in around $1.6M there will no doubt be some negotiating between the respective sides.

 

With his proven ability to provide better-than-average defense, along with some professional at-bats when called upon, he will once again be a vital part to the changing Toronto Blue Jays lineup.

 

 

 

*Featured Image Credit: Keith Allison (flickr) – UNDER CC BY-SA 2.0

 

 

 

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