Matt Barnes
Matt Barnes
30-Year-Old PitcherRP
Boston Red Sox
2021 Fantasy Outlook
The veteran right-hander began 2020 in a setup role in front of Brandon Workman, but he took over as closer after Workman was traded in August. Barnes had a 4.30 ERA, 1.39 WHIP, 30.4% strikeout rate and 13.7% walk rate and ended up going 9-for-13 in save opportunities with four holds. The strikeouts continue to be a strength and walks a weakness, and he got worse in both categories during the shortened season. Home runs were also a big issue, as the 1.57 HR/9 was his highest since 2015. Barring an acquisition in free agency, Barnes is the favorite for the closer's gig entering spring training and has the strikeouts to provide significant value, but his high walk rate limits that potential for both the Red Sox and fantasy managers. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
#218
ADP
$Signed a one-year, $4.4 million contract with the Red Sox in December of 2020.
Records win
PBoston Red Sox
June 6, 2021
Barnes (2-1) blew the save but won Sunday's 6-5 victory over the Yankees, pitching the ninth inning and allowing one run on one hit and two walks with two strikeouts.
ANALYSIS
Pitching for the third consecutive day, Barnes entered in the ninth to protect a 4-3 lead and coughed up a Gleyber Torres RBI double to knot the score and send the game to extras. Boston was able to plate two runs in the 10th to award Barnes the win despite the blown save. It's safe to say Barnes won't pitch in a make-up game at home against Miami tomorrow, but he should be good to go for a three-game set against Houston starting Tuesday.
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Pitching Stats
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2021
2020
2019
2018
2017
2021 MLB Game Log
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2020 MLB Game Log
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2019 MLB Game Log
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2018 MLB Game Log
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Pitching Appearances Breakdown
Average Pitch Count
15
Last 10 Games
15
Last 5 Games
14
How many pitches does Matt Barnes generally throw?
 
1-10
 
11-20
 
21-30
 
31-40
 
41-50
 
51-60
 
61-70
 
71-80
 
81-90
 
91-100
 
101-110
 
111-120
 
121+
 
1-10
 
11-20
 
21-30
 
31-40
 
41-50
 
51-60
 
61-70
 
71-80
 
81-90
 
91-100
 
101-110
 
111-120
 
121+
 
1-10
 
11-20
 
21-30
 
31-40
 
41-50
 
51-60
 
61-70
 
71-80
 
81-90
 
91-100
 
101-110
 
111-120
 
121+
What part of the game does Matt Barnes generally pitch?
 
 
 
1st
 
 
 
2nd
 
 
 
3rd
 
 
 
4th
 
 
 
5th
 
 
 
6th
 
 
 
7th
 
 
 
8th
 
 
 
9th
 
Extra
 
 
 
1st
 
 
 
2nd
 
 
 
3rd
 
 
 
4th
 
 
 
5th
 
 
 
6th
 
 
 
7th
 
 
 
8th
 
 
 
9th
 
Extra
 
 
 
1st
 
 
 
2nd
 
 
 
3rd
 
 
 
4th
 
 
 
5th
 
 
 
6th
 
 
 
7th
 
 
 
8th
 
 
 
9th
 
Extra
% Games Reaching Innings Threshold
% Games By Number of Innings Pitched
Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2019
 
 
-18%
BAA vs LHP
2021
 
 
-26%
BAA vs RHP
2020
 
 
-33%
BAA vs LHP
2019
 
 
-25%
BAA vs LHP
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2019vs Left .172 196 81 35 27 3 0 5
Since 2019vs Right .210 290 107 24 55 9 0 9
2021vs Left .172 33 13 4 5 1 0 2
2021vs Right .127 66 34 3 8 1 0 0
2020vs Left .167 47 18 9 6 0 0 0
2020vs Right .250 55 13 5 12 1 0 4
2019vs Left .174 116 50 22 16 2 0 3
2019vs Right .232 169 60 16 35 7 0 5
More Splits View More Split Stats
Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2019
 
 
-3%
ERA on Road
2021
 
 
-81%
ERA on Road
2020
 
 
-87%
ERA at Home
2019
 
 
-27%
ERA on Road
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2019Home 3.67 1.20 54.0 2 3 9 14.5 4.0 1.0
Since 2019Away 3.56 1.25 60.2 6 5 18 15.0 5.2 1.2
2021Home 4.02 0.77 15.2 0 1 5 12.6 1.1 1.1
2021Away 0.77 0.69 11.2 2 0 9 19.3 3.9 0.0
2020Home 0.90 0.90 10.0 1 0 3 11.7 5.4 0.9
2020Away 6.92 1.77 13.0 0 3 6 12.5 5.5 2.1
2019Home 4.45 1.55 28.1 1 2 1 16.5 5.1 1.0
2019Away 3.25 1.25 36.0 4 2 3 14.5 5.5 1.3
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Stat Review
How does Matt Barnes compare to other relievers?
This section compares his stats with all relief pitcher seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 30 innings)*. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.

* Exit Velocity, Barrels/BBE %, Balls Hit 95+ MPH %, and Spin Rate are benchmarked against 2019 data (min 30 IP). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • K/BB
    Strikeout to walk ratio.
  • K/9
    Average strikeouts per nine innings.
  • BB/9
    Average walks per nine innings.
  • HR/9
    Average home runs allowed per nine innings.
  • Fastball
    Average fastball velocity.
  • ERA
    Earned run average. The average earned runs allowed per nine innings.
  • WHIP
    Walks plus hits per inning pitched.
  • BABIP
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many balls in play against a pitcher go for hits.
  • GB/FB
    Groundball to flyball ratio. The higher the number, the more likely a pitcher is to induce groundballs.
  • Left On Base
    The percentage of base runners that a pitcher strands on base over the course of a season.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Barrels/BBE
    The percentage of batted ball events resulting in a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
  • Spin Rate
    Spin Rate is the rate of spin on a baseball after it is released. It is measured in revolutions per minute (rpm).
  • Balls Hit 95+ MPH
    The percentage of batted balls hit that met or exceeded the 95 MPH threshold.
  • Swinging Strike
    The percentage of pitches that result in a swing and a miss.
K/BB
6.71
 
K/9
15.5
 
BB/9
2.3
 
HR/9
0.7
 
Fastball
96.1 mph
 
ERA
2.63
 
WHIP
0.73
 
BABIP
.268
 
GB/FB
1.00
 
Left On Base
69.8%
 
Exit Velocity
81.9 mph
 
Barrels/BBE
2.6%
 
Spin Rate
2277 rpm
 
Balls Hit 95+ MPH
20.2%
 
Swinging Strike
15.9%
 
Advanced Pitching Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Matt Barnes
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4 days ago
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6 days ago
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42 days ago
This week, Erik Halterman compares players' current ranks to their ADPs, starting with pitchers and the Royals' Danny Duffy, whose increased velocity has led to a career-best 28.8 percent strikeout rate.
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60 days ago
Brad Johnson highlights pitchers who've impressed him early in the season, including Yankees' Jordan Montgomery, who's got a full repertoire of great offerings he will throw in any count or situation.
MLB Barometer: Risers & Fallers
77 days ago
This week, Erik Halterman's list mostly includes players who have won or lost roster spots or fantasy-relevant roles, like Jordan Romano, whose stock received a big boost with the injury to Kirby Yates.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
If Barnes could reduce his walk rate, he would be an elite closer. As is, he is an elite reliever because he generates more strikeouts than some starting pitchers do with his nasty breaking ball and fastball and is tough to hit. His strikeout rate has improved each of the past five seasons, and the elite strikeout rate is what helps offset the damage the walks would normally lead to for another reliever who pitches in high leverage as often as Barnes does. However, as great as Barnes' stuff is, he still had 1.4 runners on base every inning last year, and closers cannot live long with those types of ratios. Boston's undoing in 2019 was its bullpen, and even then, Barnes got just four saves as the Red Sox tried in vain to replace Craig Kimbrel. He is one skill away from tripling his fantasy value, but he's been in that situation for three seasons now. Draft him more for what he is than what he could be.
Unless you play in a league scoring holds, you likely aren't familiar with Barnes' exploits last season. Not only did he register 25 holds, tied for eighth-most in the league, he punched out 96, tying him for ninth among relievers. Barnes would have ranked higher had he not missed most of September with hip inflammation. Barnes' season was fueled by an impressive, career-best 14.5 SwStr%. However, the swing and miss came at a cost as Barnes' control suffered, resulting in a 12.7% walk rate, fueling a high 1.26 WHIP. The Red Sox bullpen is in flux, but it's tough to see them entering the season with Barnes in the ninth. Middle relievers have become increasingly relevant in the current fantasy landscape, and a player like Barnes can be useful. Best of all he should be affordable since his cost is kept in check with few expecting he will ever graduate to ninth-inning duties.
For the second straight season, Barnes led the Red Sox's bullpen in innings with 69.2, recording 21 holds, the most on the club. The hard-throwing right-hander improved his strikeout rate to 28.9 percent while dropping his walk rate to a still-high 9.8 percent. Bagging his changeup while throwing his slider and curve more helped garner more swinging strikes. Barnes pitched a little better than his 3.88 ERA as evidenced by a 3.27xFIP and 3.33 FIP. One reason is a bloated 14 percent HR/FB. On the surface, it appears Barnes faded late, registering a 5.39 ERA in September, but a 2.39 xFIP suggests otherwise. For the month, Barnes peripherals were an eye-popping 15.8 K/9 and 0.9 BB/9. He was victimized by three long balls in 9.2 innings, so don't sweat the perceived swoon. With Craig Kimbrel handling the ninth, Barnes returns to the primary setup role.
Barnes was a full-time reliever in 2016 after pitching as both a starter and reliever in 2015 -- he admitted to problems going back and forth between the two roles. In the bullpen, Barnes was Boston's leader in innings (66.2 over 62 games) and showed improvement, dropping his HR/9 rate while striking out 9.6 batters per nine innings. While his 4.05 ERA doesn't scream effective relief, it was skewed by an awful month of August (10.13 ERA in 13 appearances). And he showed some moxie, bouncing back in September, posting a 1.29 ERA over his final 10 outings. Apart from the one bad month, Barnes was a trusted member of the bullpen. His power fastball can be a weapon, but he'll need to command it better (4.2 BB/9). Boston's bullpen has some moving pieces but Barnes will be back in 2017, pitching in a middle-relief role.
Barnes served the organization as both a starter and reliever in 2015. In 43 innings at the major league level, Barnes permitted 56 hits, 28 runs and nine homers (nearly two per nine innings). Being yanked between roles didn’t help, and Barnes admitted difficulty in transitioning from a career starter to first-time reliever — he didn’t know when to throw his secondary stuff and never got to work on those pitches like a starter would do between starts. He would often fall behind hitters, who were waiting on his fastball. A midseason return to Triple-A Pawtucket as a starter proved to be beneficial. He got to work on pitches and improve his fastball command. When he returned to Boston as a reliever in September, Barnes allowed just one run in 10.1 innings. The plan for him in 2016 is to pitch solely as a reliever, and he’s got the power arm that will play in the bullpen, possibly as a late-inning reliever.
Barnes had a late start to the season after a sore shoulder cropped up in spring training. Once he got on the field for Triple-A Pawtucket, it looked like the shoulder was still an issue as Triple-A hitters easily handled him. Barnes wasn't commanding his pitches consistently, particularly his average secondary stuff, limiting the effectiveness of his plus fastball. It came together for him in the second half when he walked fewer batters and elicited more swings-and-misses. Despite the late start to the season, Barnes bumped up his innings count. It was also promising to see his fastball velocity increase toward the end of the season. He earned himself a September callup to Boston and worked out of the bullpen during the final month of the season. The Red Sox still consider him a starter with a three-pitch mix, so don't expect Barnes to receive consideration for a place in the Boston bullpen on Opening Day. A return to Triple-A is likely for Barnes, who will continue to work on the secondary stuff (curveball and changeup) while developing the mix needed to get through orders multiple times. With Brandon Workman moving to the bullpen full-time and the trades of Allan Webster and Rubby De La Rosa, Barnes moves to the top of the list of depth starters for Boston.
Barnes opened the 2013 season at Double-A Portland following a dominant stretch at both levels of A-ball in 2012. The move up turned out to be a stern test for Barnes, whose pitch efficiency suffered against advanced hitters. His BB/9 rate increased from 2.2 to 3.8 between the two levels and he averaged just 4.5 innings per start. The 6-foot-4 righty was hurt by big innings and an inconsistent ability to throw his secondary stuff for strikes. He finished out his season with a promotion to Triple-A Pawtucket, where his one start was a successful one. The key for Barnes entering 2014 is throwing his secondary offerings for strikes. He commands his low-to-mid 90s fastball well, but neither the changeup nor curveball are considered above average at this point.
Barnes quickly became Boston's top pitching prospect in 2012, moving through the Low-A South Atlantic League in just one month before being promoted to High-A Salem. As we have seen before with top pitching prospects, they can get by with a good heater in Low-A, but the need to establish secondary offerings, like a changeup and curveball, is the key to continue their ascent. After his promotion, he was definitely challenged more by the advanced hitters. Barnes logged 119.2 innings in his first professional season, and the organization will build off that. Continued work on the secondary pitches is Barnes' main objective entering 2013, which will likely start at High-A.
Barnes was taken in the first-round of the pitching-rich 2011 draft with the 19th overall pick by the Red Sox. As a college pitcher at the University of Connecticut, the Red Sox had ample opportunity to scout him. Because he signed close to the deadline, Barnes didn't make his professional debut last year, so he might be a smidge behind some of his contemporaries. But he's also polished enough to advance pretty quickly through the lower levels of the minors. He frequently works in the 93-95 mph range with his fastball and he throws four pitches (fastball, change, curveball, slider) regularly.
More Fantasy News
Picks up 14th save
PBoston Red Sox
June 5, 2021
Barnes struck out the only batter he faced to earn the save in Saturday's 7-3 win over the Yankees.
ANALYSIS
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Secures 13th save
PBoston Red Sox
June 4, 2021
Barnes struck out three in a perfect ninth inning to earn the save against the Yankees on Friday.
ANALYSIS
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Notches 12th save
PBoston Red Sox
May 29, 2021
Barnes gave up a run on two hits while striking out one in the ninth inning Saturday to record his 12th save of the season in a 3-1 win over the Marlins.
ANALYSIS
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Secures 11th save
PBoston Red Sox
May 22, 2021
Barnes earned the save against the Phillies on Saturday, pitching a scoreless inning during which he gave up a hit and a walk while striking out a pair.
ANALYSIS
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Bounces back with save
PBoston Red Sox
May 21, 2021
Barnes walked one and struck out three over one inning to earn the save in Thursday's 8-7 come-from-behind win over Toronto.
ANALYSIS
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