He garnered the most votes among the circuit’s lead broadcasters and broadcast assistants.
Barnett, 26, is finishing up his second season as the Media Relations Manager and Broadcaster with the Pelicans. He joined Myrtle Beach after spending the 2013 season as the Broadcast and Media Relations Assistant with the Frisco RoughRiders (Class AA; Texas League), near his hometown of Dallas.
Before his time in Minor League Baseball, Barnett broadcast for the Palm Springs Power and the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters within summer collegiate baseball and the Ontario Reign, the current AHL affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings. He has also served as a fill-in play-by-play broadcaster with Learfield Sports, calling games for Southern Methodist University’s women’s basketball team. While an undergraduate at Pomona College in California, Barnett helped establish the Claremont Colleges’ broadcasting program.
“To join the list of broadcasters who have previously won this award is an incredible honor, especially one voted on by my peers whom I admire and respect greatly,” Barnett said. “To me, however, this is not simply an individual award. It is a testament to the environment that the Pelicans front office has created, under the leadership of Pelicans President and General Manager Andy Milovich, which has allowed me to make mistakes, learn from them, and grow as a professional.
“I’d like to thank everyone in our front office and ownership group for their support and hard work in what has been an incredibly successful and fun season,” Barnett added. “Thank you as well to our coaches, players, and the Chicago Cubs for such a magical year on the diamond and for their support.”
“Nathan has done an incredible job in all aspects,” Milovich said. “In addition to having an outstanding command of the broadcast, he’s reinvented our media relations approach by embracing the Chicago Cubs, Cubs affiliates, and both traditional and non-traditional media. The Pelicans media relations, public relations, and marketing efforts were synchronized in a greater fashion than I’ve seen in 25-plus years in the industry.”
Barnett becomes the fourth different broadcaster to earn the honor, and the three previous winners constitute a very distinguished field. Former Wilmington Blue Rocks voice John Sadak was the inaugural winner in 2012. Sadak is now the lead voice of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Class AAA; International League). He also contributes to Westwood One and CBS Sports as a play-by-play talent. Darren Headrick, who is now alongside Sadak in the RailRiders’ booth, won the award in 2013 while with the Carolina Mudcats. Brian Boesch, who is in the midst of his fourth season with the Winston-Salem Dash, was recognized last year.