A second straight strong season on the farm has earned Columbus outfielder Brandon Barnes recognition from the International League.
The 14-year pro was named this week to the International League’s Post-Season All-Star team as the lone representative from the Clippers.
The 32-year-old signed with the Cleveland Indians in the offseason on a minor league pact and has spent the year with their top farm affiliate in Columbus, where he has served a veteran leadership role while playing all three outfield spots along the way.
Barnes has played in parts of the last four seasons at the Triple-A level, but was selected during the year to his first career midseason All-Star Game, getting the opportunity to play at the ball park of his Clippers club during the competition between the International League and Pacific Coast League back in June.
Entering the day Thursday, Barnes had worked in 127 different games for the Clippers, hitting .277 with a .349 on-base percentage and a .448 slugging mark. He was leading the IL in doubles with 39 and RBI with 80 in that span. He had added two triples and 13 homers, and he was also a threat on the base paths, stealing 18 bases in 23 attempts for the year. He was also in the league’s top ten in runs, hits, on-base percentage, slugging, and OPS, and was just on the outside of that list in batting average.
Over the course of the season, Barnes has put together 38 multi-hit games, including seven different three-hit games and an incredible five-hit game on May 21 at home against Toledo. He came a triple short of the cycle in that contest, getting two singles, two doubles, and a homer while driving in three runs and scoring three times in six trips to the plate. He has two seven-game hitting streaks and four other separate six-game streaks this season.
Barnes was a sixth round draft pick by the Houston Astros in the 2005 draft out of Cypress College in Cypress, California (the same college attended by former Indians outfielder Ben Francisco and current Cleveland minor league pitcher Matt Esparza, as well as veteran New York Mets pitcher Jason Vargas and Hall of Fame reliever Trevor Hoffman).
The Anaheim, CA, native has spent parts of five seasons in the Majors with the Astros and the Colorado Rockies from 2012 to 2016. Last season, Barnes suited up for New Orleans, the Triple-A affiliate of the Miami Marlins. He hit .276 with a .331 OBP in 109 games there with 22 doubles, two triples, eleven homers, and 49 RBI.
Photo: Mathew Carper/Columbus Clippers