Keon Barnum

Keon Barnum connects for a home run in Cactus League action (Daniel Shapiro / Future Sox)
Keon Barnum connects for a home run in Cactus League action (Daniel Shapiro / Future Sox)

Position: 1B
Born: 1/16/93
Ht: 6’5″ Wt: 225 B-T: L-L
Acquired: Drafted Supplemental Round in 2012 out of high school (48th overall)
Career Stats
FutureSox Prospect Rankings

  • #4 – 2012 Midseason
  • #6 – 2013 Preseason
  • #7 – 2013 Midseason
  • #13 – 2014 Preseason
  • #21 – 2014 Midseason
  • #20 – 2015 Preseason

FutureSox Media

Scouting report
Barnum seemed like a bit of an overdraft when taken in the supplemental first round, but he was seen as a prototypical first base prospect with big power potential that dropped more than a few jaws during his high school years. He opened 2012 at Bristol as a 19-year-old and drew some attention with a flurry of home runs before a shoulder injury limited his playing time the rest of the summer. He held his own at Low-A Kannapolis in 2013 (.718 OPS, 5 HR in 223 PA), but injuries again cut short his time. In 2014 his stats were down a bit (.671 OPS, 8 HR in 533 PA) at A+, and he struck out 30.6% of the time, with the combination of high K totals and not so much game power becoming a pattern. He repeated at Winston-Salem in 2015, then a fairly age-appropriate 22 years old, but his core numbers only improved marginally (.257/.322/.390, 9 HR in 428 PA), though his K/PA did drop to a still somewhat high 26.2%. He also missed some time, again, to a minor injury. 2016 saw Barnum return to High-A once more, where he put up mediocre numbers (.256/.291/.325, 1 HR, 7 BB, 25 K in 127 PA) and was promoted to AA anyway. There he hit .194 with 4 HR in 76 games, striking out in 29.4% of his plate appearances. His 2017 with the Barons saw him post a .688 OPS with a disturbingly high K-rate above 33%. 2018, Keon is back in Birmingham for his third trip, hitting a little over .200 with a lot of home runs (12 in 61 games) and a lot of strikeouts (75 in 218 PA).
Barnum has good bat speed to go with impressive strength, and can put on a show in BP. As is common with power-hitting prospects, the big question mark is contact rate as he moves up the system. That question might be somewhat mitigated if his power was showing up more reliably in games, but so far it hasn’t, and the contact rates have been pretty ugly. Defensively Barnum gets below average grades at first. At this point, Barnum would need a huge breakout just to get back on the radar. The 25-year-old has hung on.
Major League Outlook: Power bat at 1st
ETA: 2019
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