The San Francisco Giants reassigned Joey Bart to minor league camp today. Last year’s number 2 overall pick gave Giants fans a glimpse into the future and it looks as though the future is paved with RBI’s.
There’s no doubt that Joey Bart had a great spring. He slashed .350/.381/.600 in limited action before being reassigned to minor league camp. As per multiple sources, there was some speculation that Bart might have been in the mix to play in the final exhibition Bay Bridge series, but San Francisco Giants brass thought it would be best for him to continue to get more playing time over the next week in the minors.
This next week of evaluation will allow the Giants’ final position battles to shake out and let the prospective starters get geared up for the regular season. Now before the “small sample size” army starts getting all up in arms, let’s just take a moment to reflect on and appreciate what we saw out of Joey Bart.
Yes it was a small sample size, but sometimes at Costco you can grab a sample and if you like it you can turn around, put a fake mustache on, turn back around and grab another sample. No one’s the wiser. Another thing to note when you’re playing sample roulette, is that sometimes you get a pretty good sample. Like one of those little bagel wrapped hot dogs, or half a bagel bite. Which reminds me, I haven’t eaten breakfast yet.
Joey Bart was that bagel bite this spring. He flashed gap-to-gap power as was made evident by both of his doubles getting driven to deep right center field, and by pulling a massive home run over the left center field wall.
It wasn’t just the gap to gap power that impressed. Joey Bart showed a knack for timely hitting. Something the Giants severely lacked last year. Bart drove in 7 runs in 20 ABs. That is an incredible ratio even in a small sample.
And of course he already made himself #ForeverGiant with his bases clearing go-ahead double against the Dodgers. Top that off with some high defensive praise and Joey Bart did everything fans and evaluators hoped he would do this spring.
If you want to make the argument that Joey Bart got into games late and didn’t face many major league caliber arms, you can. But Joey Bart was not expected to break camp with the team and the fact that he excelled against arms he is likely to face again this year in the minors is a good indicator for how he stacks up against his current peer group. The preliminary results were good.
For the other camp that thinks Joey Bart is Major League ready, one glaring stat to look at was is K:BB ratio. He struck out 9 times this spring and walked once. As Andrew Baggarly pointed out in his article in the Athletic ($), this K:B ratio is something that Farhan Zaidi seems to value and is also seems to be a strong indicator of success.
However, Joey Bart has had a great spring and it’s up to him if he wants to take the fast track to the major leagues. As of right now, the Giants have pretty decent catching depth. But if Joey Bart can continue to hit the way he has while working on his plate discipline he may be able to force the issue and arrive earlier than expected. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a burnt bagel to throw away.