“There’s a difference between being patient and passive,” one American League scout said. “Barton started to look to get walked.”
Barton realized last year that he’s at his best when he’s more aggressive, and he has continued to focus on that.
“My mind-set has changed,” he said. "Now I think walks come from swinging at good pitches, hitting good pitches, rather than taking early in the count until you get a mistake to hit. I realized there’s a difference between being passively aggressive and aggressively passive.
“If you leave it over the plate early in the count, I’m going to be swinging. Why not swing? You don’t get in a hole right off the bat.
“I was taking just to take. I used to take the first pitch every time. Everyone knew that, so I was already in a hole. I’m not going to do that anymore. Now I’m looking fastball and adjusting if it’s something else.”