Barrett Barnes has battled injuries since the Pirates drafted him in 2012. On Friday night, fans got a glimpse of what he can do when healthy.
The Pirates' No. 8 prospect homered twice and drove in a career-high six runs to lead Class A West Virginia to an 11-7 victory over visiting Lakewood.
Barnes smacked an RBI single in the second inning before drilling a two-run homer -- his first of the season -- in the fourth. An inning later, his three-run blast capped a six-run outburst.
"There wasn't much to it," Barnes said of his first two full-season homers. "I've been feeling good since getting back on the field, just getting back into the swing of things."
Barnes has been limited to 20 games this season due to injuries, something that's plagued the Texas native since the Pirates selected him 45th overall in last year's Draft. He played 38 games with short-season State College in 2012 before going down with a broken ankle. Entering Spring Training healthy, Barnes suffered an oblique injury that cost him time in April, then missed almost all of May due to a pulled hamstring.
"It's not really frustrating, it's part of the game," he said. "When you're on your feet and you play baseball, injuries are going to occur. Everyone has to deal with it at every level. You just keep a positive attitude and move past it."
The 21-year-old outfielder has begun to find his groove, recording four multi-hit efforts in his last five games. Overall, he's batting .256 with 11 RBIs, 15 runs scored and seven stolen bases for the Power.
"It's not so much about finding it, it's about getting on the field," Barnes said. "I wouldn't use the word 'excited,' I'd use the word 'relief.' I have high expectations of myself. It's a relief to get out and play baseball. I just like to play baseball, I've been blessed by God with abilities you can't teach."
It was the first two-homer game of Barnes' brief career, a feat that his parents were able to witness from the stands at Appalachian Power Park.
"It's always good, it doesn't matter how you play, it's just an added bonus," Barnes said of having a career night in front of his parents. "It's fun to play in front of people who care about you and have watched me play since T-ball."
Dilson Herrera, Pittsburgh's No. 18 prospect, added a solo homer while No. 6 prospect Josh Bell went 2-for-5 and scored twice for West Virginia.
Bryton Trepagnier (2-2) tossed three innings of hitless relief to earn the win.