San Francisco Giants: Joey Bart’s big Spring Training bodes well for future

San Francisco Giants (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
San Francisco Giants (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

The San Francisco Giants have to be pleased with the way top prospect Joey Bart has fared in Spring Training with the big league team.

The San Francisco Giants are in desperate need of young talent. They dried up the well, winning three championships in five years with a homegrown core built around pitching and their superstar catcher Buster Posey. After two extremely underwhelming seasons, they are ready to re-tool and rebuild.

Joey Bart looks to be the centerpiece of that rebuild. Drafted second overall last June, the 22-year-old catcher has played alongside the big leaguers during the spring, giving him an opportunity to get a feel for the speed of the game at that level. Additionally, he has been able to spend time alongside Posey, learning from one of the best the game has ever seen at that position.

Bart played A ball last year with the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes. In 181 at-bats, he hit .298 with a .369 OBP. He flashed his power with 13 home runs and drove home 39 runs. He’s shown a strong feel for the game at the plate.

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Defensively, however, he needs to continue to grow. In 32 games behind the dish, he committed five errors with six passed balls. Giants broadcaster Mike Krukow noted that “he’s got some bad habits” on defense.” He’s just starting his professional career so, certainly, with the right coaching and effort, Bart can bring his glove up to par with his already-impressive bat.

Bart has had a strong Spring Training thus far. Through 14 games and 20 plate appearances, he’s hit .368 with a .400 OBP and 1.032 OPS. By comparison, Posey–who is coming off reconstructive hip surgery–has a .217 BA, .250 OBP, and .554 OPS in 24 appearances.

Bart also has a home run and seven RBIs to his name. His strikeout total (8) is a little high for just 19 at-bats–something that also seemed to be a bit of an issue in his first professional season as well–but he clearly has a knack for getting on base.

One anonymous scout told Baseball America that Bart could make it to the big leagues as soon as this upcoming season. While that would be a very quick rise through the ranks, it’s not an entirely impossible situation.

The Giants probably won’t be in the hunt for a playoff spot. With the postseason out of reach, the Giants could look to give their young talent some opportunities. If Bart continues to swing the bat at a high level, he could find himself suiting up at Oracle Park sooner than later.

But even if he doesn’t get a chance to face MLB pitching again this year, he’s going to get his chance at some point. Given what he’s shown so far, the future is bright with Bart as the heir apparent to the three-time World Series champion Posey.