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Tucker Barnhart (C/1B, CIN) - Week 20 Waiver Wire Pickups

BALLER MOVE: Add in Two-Catcher Leagues

OWNED IN: 11% of leagues

ANALYSIS: Tucker Barnhart may have once been able to steal more bases than the average backstop, and he may have hit for a career-high home run total just last year (ten), but the former Gold Glove award winner's forte will always be elite defense behind the plate. Unfortunately, with an injury breaking up his 2019 season, he had problems settling into any sort of offensive rhythm and largely struggled in the 162 AB he took from April through June. Fortunately for Barnhart, the Reds have had serious issues filling in the catcher slot this season. With Ryan Lavarnway designated for assignment and the pair of Curt Casali and Juan Graterol dealing with injuries, the only competition remaining for Barnhart is utility man Kyle Farmer.

He has finally started to warm up at the plate too, netting three home runs and a .267/.457/.700 slash over the last 30 AB spanning play in July and August. While this run of success has been in an extremely limited sample size of plate appearances, it has nevertheless been achieved by an encouraging mixture of high-volume hard contact, low-volume soft contact, and Barnhart's usual sense of how to read the strike zone and take a walk. Casali might grab some AB once he returns (just out of his competence on offense since moving to Cincinnati), but Tucker Barnhart's defense is a bona fide ace in the hole for seeing the majority share of work at catcher. Now that he is hitting, and actually hitting for power, that can finally start to mean something.

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