Barnhart with the Cincinnati Reds in 2016
|Cincinnati Reds – No. 16|
January 7, 1991 |
|April 3, 2014, for the Cincinnati Reds|
(through June 13, 2017)
|Runs batted in||78|
Barnhart was born in Indianapolis, the son of Kevin and Pam Barnhart, and brother to Paige. When Tucker was 11, the family moved west of Indianapolis to Brownsburg, Indiana. He attended Brownsburg High School and played for the school's baseball team. As a junior in 2008, he hit .500 and was named to the Louisville Slugger High School All-American team. In his senior year at Brownsburg, he was named "Mr. Baseball" for the state of Indiana.
Heading into the 2009 MLB Draft, Baseball America rated Barnhart as the best available player from Indiana. Due to his commitment to Georgia Tech, he fell to the 10th round, when he was chosen by the Cincinnati Reds with the 299th overall selection. Barnhart opted to sign with the Reds, rather than enroll at Georgia Tech.
In 2010, he played for the Billings Mustangs of the Rookie-level Pioneer League. In 2011, he played for the Dayton Dragons of the Class A Midwest League. He spent the 2012 season with the Bakersfield Blaze of the Class A-Advanced California League and Pensacola Blue Wahoos of the Class AA Southern League. He played for Pensacola in 2013, and was named a Southern League All-Star.
Barnhart was added to the Reds 40-man roster on November 20, 2013. With Devin Mesoraco beginning the 2014 season on the disabled list, Barnhart made the Reds' 2014 Opening Day roster, as a backup to Brayan Peña. Barnhart made his major league debut on April 3 against the St. Louis Cardinals. Starting at catcher (with Homer Bailey the starting pitcher) and batting eighth, he went 0-for-4. Two days later, he got his first big-league hit, a single off New York Mets pitcher Dillon Gee; for the game, Barnhart went 2-for-4.
Barnhart was optioned to the Louisville Bats of the Class AAA International League on April 7, when Mesoraco was activated. He was later recalled by the Reds, and on May 1, he hit his first major league home run, a fifth-inning solo shot off the Milwaukee Brewers' Marco Estrada. He was optioned back to Louisville on May 18. On July 6, with Peña on the paternity list and also forced to play more at first base due to injuries, the Reds recalled Barnhart. Barnhart was optioned back to Louisville on July 11.
- "Reds see promise in 5-foot-8 Dragons catcher". www.springfieldnewssun.com. May 16, 2011. Retrieved November 13, 2013.
- "The Times of Noblesville, IN | Brownsburg catcher Tucker Barnhart is this year's Mr. Baseball". Thetimes24-7.com. July 14, 2009. Retrieved November 13, 2013.
- "Even as a little kid, Brownsburg (Ind.) catcher Tucker Barnhart was happy to do whatever might help him become a big leaguer. Now the state's best player is closer than ever to fulfilling his dreams. - ESPN". Espn.go.com. June 29, 2009. Retrieved November 13, 2013.
- Dorsey, Patrick (August 1, 2009). "LOCAL0503 | Indianapolis Star". indystar.com. Retrieved December 14, 2013.
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- Schmetzer, Mark (March 29, 2014). "Bell, Bernadina, Barnhart, Soto to break with Reds". MLB.com. Retrieved April 3, 2014.
- "Brownsburg's Tucker Barnhart elated to be playing for Reds". Indystar.com. March 31, 2014. Retrieved April 8, 2014.
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- "Reds activate Mesoraco, demote Barnhart". chicagotribune.com. Sports Network. April 7, 2014. Retrieved April 8, 2014.