It’s not a best-kept secret that Austin Barnes struggled mightily in 2018. Moreover, those struggles resulted in a .205 average and .619 OPS; with stretches that he was nearly unplayable.

Now, Barnes is determined to hold down a lion’s share of the catching position in 2019. Alongside Russell Martin, the onus is fully on he and Barnes for stability at backstop for the NL West favorites.

Barnes talked with David Vassegh on AM570 about improving his swing in the offseason.

Equally important, Barnes sounds like there is a touch of optimism towards his offensive game as we approach spring training.

I’ve been working on my swing to try to get it right. Last year was pretty tough but I feel confident. I am happy with where my swing is right now……trying to get right before the season starts.

Barnes was speaking from Justin Turner’s annual golf tournament. He indicated that he’s been working with hitting guru Robert Van Scoyoc and building confidence. Vassegh mentioned that Barnes had not been through anything similar to 2018 as a professional. However – this is only partially true. Of course, Barnes did hit .205 in 2015 and .156 in 2016; it’s just that those stints were over 37 plate appearances.

I needed to reset. You know, it’s hard to make changes in-season. It’s hard to step back then and evaluate things, it’s a process with it. Just trying to get back into a good hitting position and do what your body does. It’s been a motivating offseason for sure.

Furthermore, as time goes on; it’s a predominant theme that new hitting coach Van Scoyoc is helping hitters build confidence. Professional hitters work with him, and emerge from the fog and abyss (see Taylor, Chris).

Indeed, if Barnes is ‘fixed’ we should be able to get a read on this from the early going in 2019. Let’s hope for the best!

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