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Astros call up Blue Sox import Barnes to MLB08/09/2012 2:05 PM ET
Sydney, 8 August, 2012-Major League Baseball’s Houston Astros have called up Brandon Barnes from Class AAA Oklahoma City to replace injured outfielder Jordan Schafer. Barnes, who was a star for the Sydney Blue Sox during the 2011-12 season, becomes the first non-Australian from the new ABL to debut in the Major Leagues.
Barnes is now the seventh Australian Baseball League star to compete in Major League Baseball after playing in Australia, joining the likes of Sydney Blue Sox Rich Thompson and Trent Oeltjen, Melbourne Aces Travis Blackley and Shane Lindsay, and the Perth Heat’s Luke Hughes and Liam Hendriks.
Barnes came to Australia to get extra at bats to aid his progression through the Astros system, and his hard has work paid off. After hitting .321 with 6 HRs and 30 RBIs in 29 games for the Blue Sox last summer, Barnes continued to swing the bat well back in the States.
Bouncing between two levels, Class AAA Oklahoma City (62 games) and Class AA Corpus Christi (44 games), the right-handed hitter was batting .321 with a .381 on-base percentage and a .514 slugging percentage.
Blue Sox General Manager David Balfour, expressed excitement for Barnes saying, “Brandon was a class player and just an all-around class act. He showed from his first day with Sydney that he had the potential to make it to the big leagues, and all of us at the Blue Sox will be cheering him on as he makes his Major League debut.”
Barnes’s call up follows the Houston Astros’ first amateur free agent signing of an Australian player in Queenslander Connor MacDonald whom they recently signed out of the MLB Australian Academy Program and shows continued interest from the Texas ballclub in Australian and ABL talent.