The second-seeded Ferrer has finished runner-up on the Real Club de Tenis' outdoor red clay on four occasions.
Third-seeded Fabio Fognini of Italy will play Santiago Giraldo of Colombia after he moved past Igor Sijsling of the Netherlands 6-4, 6-2.
Eight-time winner Rafael Nadal will open his title defense against either Nikolay Davydenko or Albert Ramos.
Nadal arrives in Barcelona after losing to Ferrer for the first time on clay since 2004 at the Monte Carlo Masters.
"All my rivals are dangerous. Every one of them," Nadal said. "I always go out there to play knowing that I can win or lose."
Other first-round winners included Spaniards Daniel Gimeno-Traver, Roberto Bautista Agut, Albert Montanes, and Inigo Cervantes, French pair Kenny de Schepper and Eduardo Roger-Vasselin, Austria's Dominic Thiem, Australia's Marinko Matosevic, Kazakhstan's Andrey Golubev, and Russia's Andrey Kuznetsov.