It is every young baseball player’s dream to hear their name called in the Major League Baseball Draft, and on Tuesday afternoon that dream became a reality for former Clemson starting pitcher, Charlie Barnes.
The junior was selected by the Minnesota Twins in the 2017 MLB Draft as the first pick in the fourth round and No. 106 overall.
The Clemson Insider not only had the opportunity to speak with Barnes after he was drafted but also with Seth Moir, an area scout for the Minnesota Twins who is very confident in Barnes’ abilities.
“Charlie made a name for himself,” said Moir. “He pitched well all year.”
Although Moir is unsure of Barnes’ exact time-frame to be in the minor leagues, he is certain that Barnes has the ability to position himself for success.
“I think it’s tough to say exactly how long he’ll be in the minor leagues,” Moir said. “I think he was drafted with the thought that he is already a very capable pitcher. We say that there is a high floor. He has a high floor, he’s already done a lot of stuff in the development.
“I think he is going to be able to move quickly through the minor leagues. I can’t put a time frame on it because I really don’t know. But I do know that he is very capable of making moves quickly with his feel and his ability to pitch already. I see him being a starter and I think he is going to be in charge of his own destiny in terms of where he is at in the rotation.”
Barnes knows how important it will be to control his destiny, but as for right now, he is taking in this once in a lifetime opportunity.
“I don’t even know if I can put it into words right now,” Barnes said to TCI after being drafted on Tuesday. “It’s still so fresh in my mind. I’m super excited and can’t ask for anything more. The Twins took a chance on me in the fourth round and I will forever be grateful that they felt I had the skillset and gave me this opportunity.”
Barnes spoke with Moir for a few minutes after the Twins drafted him on Tuesday. He also spoke with the team’s vice president.
“That was really cool and they told me to just celebrate today,” Barnes said. “There aren’t many people who get this opportunity so they told me to enjoy today, relax and have fun. Be grateful for the people who have been there along the way for me.”
As excited as Barnes is to take on his future, he will be sure to never forget where he came from.
“Coach (Jack) Leggett and Coach (Monte) Lee obviously played a huge role in my life,” he said. “Coach Leggett recruited me to Clemson and that’s why I’m here today. Coach Lee gave me the opportunity to pitch. I can’t thank them enough. But I think the biggest person for me would be my high school coach, Joe Norris. He has worked with numerous different professional pitchers and there’s been a lot of guys out of Sumter, my hometown, that have gone on to play professional baseball.
“I’ve been working with him since I was ten years old. He’s been there along the way, good and bad. I just can’t thank him enough and I think a ton of credit goes to him. I know that although today is a monumental moment for me it’s just the beginning. There is still a whole road ahead of me to make it to the major leagues. I’m definitely not forgetting that. I still have to work and do all these things to make it to the highest level which is my ultimate goal.”