CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia Power center fielder Barrett Barnes can't explain his torrid hitting pace last week - which earned him South Atlantic League player of the week honors - other than the case of a batter in the zone.
"Everything was under control," he said. "The game was slow and the ball was big. When you're in that zone, it's hard not to have good nights."
A lot of Power players had good nights Tuesday, striking back against the Hagerstown Suns with a 6-1 win at Appalachian Power Park. Dilson Herrera and Walker Gourley each drove in two runs for the Power (4-2, 41-35).
Barnes' hot bat is even more satisfying for him, considering he couldn't pick one up at all as he rehabbed a strained hamstring that put him on the disabled list for more than a month. He went to the DL on May 2 with the injury and didn't return to the Power lineup until June 6. That injury came after an oblique injury that hampered him during spring training.
For much of that span, Barnes was limited to upper-body workouts and pushups. He couldn't swing a bat, throw or run while his hamstring healed.
"It's not fun to be on the DL," Barnes said. "You always want to play. But you try to keep a positive attitude about it and keep working, doing my rehab like I was supposed to do. I think I came out stronger than I was when I got here."
Power hitting coach Orlando Merced said the time off frustrated Barnes, taken 45th overall by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 2012 Major League Baseball draft out of Texas Tech University. He entered this season ranked the ninth-best prospect in the Pirates' system by Baseball America.
"He sees himself as one of the valuable prospects in the organization," Merced said. "Prior to the season, he set some goals for himself. For a young kid, it's very frustrating. You want to be between the lines. You want to be the go-to guy. You want to play."