The SF Giants surprised a lot of people with the selection of NC State catcher Patrick Bailey.
The SF Giants clearly went into the 2020 MLB Draft with a best-player approach. Or at least, that’s how things developed as their selection of NC State catcher Patrick Bailey is undoubtedly a confusing one.
Bailey was considered to be one of the top catcher prospects in the class, but he wasn’t a name closely associated with the Giants in recent weeks. Instead, it was high schooler Tyler Soderstrom who had been heavily connected to San Francisco.
But with Soderstrom still on the board at No. 13, the Giants opted to roll with the older Bailey as opposed to the player who was most frequently mocked to them.
Who is SF Giants’ first-round pick Patrick Bailey?
Bailey is a 21-year-old switch-hitting catcher who excelled while at NC State establishing himself as one of the best college catchers in the country.
The North Carolina native shined as a freshman earning ACC Freshman of the Year honors before following that up with an equally impressive sophomore year.
And he was off to a scintillating start in 2020 before the college season was canceled. In 17 games, the junior catcher slashed .296/.466/.685 while driving in 20 RBI and hitting six home runs.
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But despite his success at the plate, that isn’t what he’s most known for. Bailey has been highly-touted for his impressive defense, particularly his ability to handle a pitching staff.
His combination of power at the plate and defense behind it made him a very intriguing prospect. But for the Giants, it doesn’t seem to make a ton of sense.
On the surface, this seems like a puzzling decision.
Bailey doesn’t have experience playing any other position and catcher is likely the one position the Giants didn’t need to address early. Soderstrom made more sense as he was able to play both corner infield and outfield spots and was still a number of years away from the majors.
Bailey is 21-years-old and could feasibly reach the MLB level within two years. Given the presence of Joey Bart, it would appear that his path is blocked.
Of course, having extra prospects is never a bad thing in baseball. After all, a good front office can turn a surplus into a profit. Clearly the Giants went with the player who they felt was the best available at that spot.
It won’t be a popular decision, but hopefully Bailey could prove their decision right in the long run.
Now, the organization will likely shift its attention to pitching on Day 2 of the draft tomorrow.