He has yet to officially make his professional debut and his exposure to the pro game has been limited to Instructs and workouts at the minor league complex thus far, but he says he feels like he's transitioning pretty well considering.
"I think I've done pretty good," Barnes said. "There's a lot of guys in the organization that I know and a lot of the coaches and personnel have made the transition pretty easy for me. They've talked to me about how to go about things and what to expect, the routines and the transition.
"Probably the biggest [adjustment] is going from the seven-day to the five-man rotation. I've dealt with it pretty good so far but like I said a lot of people have helped me with the transition."
Primarily a power fastball, power curveball pitcher at the University of Connecticut, the other big transition point will be using and further developing his changeup.
"I'm still working on my changeup and making that a really good pitch," he admitted. "Things are coming along really well with that. I'm also working on staying as consistent as possible mechanically from pitch to pitch."
Claiming himself 100 percent confident in his fastball and with his knockout curveball not far behind, he says his changeup is getting pretty close comfort-wise to his breaking ball.
"It's pretty close, I've been throwing the changeup off and on a lot lately," he added. "I haven't even started throwing breaking balls off of the mound yet.
"I made it a point throwing on the field and off the mound to really get comfortable with that pitch [the changeup] and throw that pitch as much as possible so I am comfortable with it. It's not far away. I used it a good amount at Instructs and had some success with it.
"That's one of those pitches that as soon as you have some success with it in games your confidence with it is going to sky-rocket. I'm pretty close with it, it's just consistency and reps with it right now is what's going to get it there."
Consistency is the key word with Barnes. While it goes without saying that he would like to have a great first season in 2012, he is fighting off the temptation of putting any sort of numerical goals in mind and rather just focuses on being a consistent hurler in his first season.
"My biggest goal this season is to go out there and be as consistent as possible and give whatever team I'm pitching for a quality start every time out, give them a chance to win. Consistency and giving quality outings every time out is what I want to do.
"Obviously all pitchers have something to work on at one point or another, but being consistent from pitch to pitch and from outing to outing – guys at the big league level do things consistently and do it on a daily basis – as long as I do that hopefully things will work out."
With the official start of his first Spring Training right around the corner, Barnes is eager to get into some games and get his debut out of the way.
"I'm really excited," he said. "I'm fortunate to come into such a gorgeous facility that the Red Sox have provided for us. I couldn't ask for more coming into my first Spring Training out of college. Today was our fourth day and everything has been a blast so far. I'm really excited to get into the swing of games."
It's never easy for such a high pick to fight off the expectations many place on such players but Barnes isn't too concerned about it at this point.
"You can't think about it. It's still the game of baseball at the end of the day. You kind of have to go out there everyday and do what you've done your entire life, and not think about and have fun playing the game you love.
"If you put too much pressure on yourself you're never going to succeed. I'm just going to have fun with it and do what I've always done."
It is that relaxed approach and overall professional makeup that has many scouts high on the long-term potential of Barnes and he is extremely confident entering his professional debut season.
"I'm confident. The only person holding me back from having the kind of season that I want to have is myself. I've been working extremely hard down here, I worked very hard in the offseason.
"Obviously every player hits a bump in the road so I'm going to try to minimize those bumps as much as possible and like I said, the only person holding me back is myself.
"I'm confident going into the season that I'll be able to pitch pretty well and give my team a chance to win every time out," he concluded.
Matt Barnes, last year's first round pick, is currently down at the Red Sox minor league complex preparing for his first Spring Training and professional debut season. Fighting off the high expectations that come with such a high round selection, he says his main goal in 2012 is to minimize the bumps in the road this year.
Barnes Minimizing The Bumps
Matt Barnes, last year's first round pick, is looking to minimize the bumps in the road in 2012.
Barnes enters his debut season very confident
Feb 27, 2012