Posted: 10:59 am Tuesday, May 29th, 2012
By Matt Porter
The Miami Hurricanes added some speed to their 2012 baseball recruiting class.
Royal Palm Beach senior Christopher Barr accepted a scholarship to Miami over the weekend. Barr, who played first base and center field for Royal Palm, had signed with Palm Beach State.
Barr hit .411, had an area-best 30 steals and posted a .540 on-base percentage in his senior season. He walked 17 times and struck out five.
While the speedy, 6-foot-1, 180-pound Barr fits the profile of a center fielder, Royal Palm coach Brian Joros found that Barr’s defensive ability at first base was a major asset. The Wildcats won the District 13-7A title with Barr scooping throws and snaring liners and pop flies on the right side of the infield.
“He was indispensable. He was the most athletic first baseman in the state of Florida — I can’t imagine anyone was more athletic. He made that sacrifice to play first because he knew how much that meant to us,” Joros said. “We estimated he saved us about .75 runs a game for us at first. He makes catches that players at this level don’t make. He would have been our best center fielder too, but our team was better with him at first. He won us games with his glove.”
Joros said Barr has run as low as 6.6 seconds in the 60-yard dash, which is considered above-average speed in the majors. A left-handed bat, Barr’s home-to-first time has been as low as 4.0 seconds, which is considered excellent.
Barr, who turns 18 in July, could be a late-round pick in this year’s MLB draft, but all signs point to him playing at Miami. According to Joros, Miami assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Gino DiMare believes Barr could challenge for a starting job at first base next season.
Signing a junior college scholarship prevents a player from signing with another junior college, but does not prevent them from signing a Division I scholarship.
“[UM tries] not to go in and steal [JUCO] guys,” Joros said. “But Chris Barr developed so much, so quickly in his senior year. Gino said, ‘I think this is one of the best late signings in the history of our program. A guy like that isn’t available that late.'”