Former Bearcat taken with 96th pick by Rays

Hunter Barnhart is a name that should sound familiar to most, if not all, Paso Robles High School faithful. The tall, lengthy right-hander spent more than two years at PRHS playing football and baseball and was drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays with the 96th pick in the third round.

Barnhart was a two-sport star while in Paso Robles, leading the Bearcats to a PAC-5 championship his sophomore year and earning County Player of the Year honors after starting the season on the junior varsity team.

The Paso Robles native continued to excel on the gridiron, winning a Moutain League title this year for the St. Joseph Knights but always said baseball was his passion.

The 6-foot-2-inch, 205-pound, 18-year-old will focus on pitching and reportedly saw his fastball jump during the COVID-19 pandemic and is now touching the mid-90s.

However, Barnhart’s best pitch is his curveball. He shows an excellent command and uses it as a strikeout pitch and to keep batters off balance. The former Bearcat committed to playing baseball at Arizona State a few years back but will now have to make a big decision — play in college or sign with the Rays.

Getting through this together, Paso Robles