The second Ohio State baseball draftee in 2018 is junior Jacob Barnwell. The Buckeyes’ starting catcher the past two seasons, Barnwell was selected in the 22nd round by the Colorado Rockies, pick No. 666 overall.
Barnwell was a member of the Johnny Bench watch list this past season, putting him among the top receivers in the country. The Kentucky native slashed .261/.369/.346 while playing in 57 games this spring, with eight doubles, two home runs, and 27 runs batted in.
More important to Ohio State, though, was the way Barnwell handled the pitching staff and kept the running game in check. He threw out just under 27 percent of would-be base stealers, and gave head coach Greg Beals a reliable coach-on-the-field type, able to keep the guys on the mound focused and executing their pitches.
Barnwell’s junior campaign was very similar to that of his sophomore year, with a nearly identical slash line, as well as doubles, homers, walks, and strikeouts. One area where he showed progress was in his ability to drive runners in. Those 27 RBIs nearly doubled his production in 2017, when he plated 14 runners.
Each team in MLB is given what’s called a bonus pool, this is the maximum amount they can spend on draft pick bonuses for players in the first 10 rounds before incurring a penalty. While each pick in the first 10 rounds of the draft has an assigned slot value (ranging from just over $8 million for the No. 1 overall pick to $136,800 for the final pick of the 10th round), any bonus money above $125,000 given to an individual player picked in rounds 11 through 40 also counts against a team’s pool.
With Barnwell going in the 22nd round, he’s unlikely to see a bonus above that threshold, and must now make a decision on his future. He has a year of eligibility remaining, and could conceivably return to Columbus in an attempt to improve his stock. But this is pro baseball knocking on the door, the realization of a dream.
Whatever he decides, we here at Land-Grant Holy Land wish Barnwell the best.