SCOTSDALE, Ariz. -- Right-handed hitting center field candidate Brandon Barnes believes he has a style the Rockies will like.
Barnes, 27, entered last season as a backup with the Astros but ended up starting 115 of his 136 games. He made 115 starts in center field. Barnes hit .240 with eight home runs and 41 RBIs. The Rockies like Barnes' defense and speed, and believe he'll develop power.
"I got a little taste of it the year before last -- I got called up in August and played through late September," Barnes said. "It's a mental grind more than a physical grind. You're making adjustments and trying to figure out how to attack the next pitcher, which was the harder part for me. My body was in great shape where I could go 162 games without having to worry about injuries.
"My next steps are at the plate, making the adjustments. I started off good last year, but as they started figuring me out I ran into some trouble. I've got to have a game plan and stick with it. That's why I'm excited to be here with all these guys that have been around and done it. I want to pick their brains as much as possible."
There are obstacles to Barnes' effort to make the team or win a position. Drew Stubbs is the right-handed hitter with Major League experience. The Rockies also have two homegrown left-handed hitters in Charlie Blackmon and Corey Dickerson. But Barnes spent his time in the Majors with the Astros concentrating on some of the situational hitting that the Rockies could use, either in the lineup or off the bench.
"Last year, I was the guy that was the situational hitter, if it came down to a bunt, a squeeze, 'get him over,' I felt that was my job," Barnes said. "I pride myself on getting that done. It's not going to happen all the time but the more I can push myself to get the job done every single time, it's just going to help the team."