San Francisco Giants: Joey Bart suffers fractured thumb in AFL
By Joel Reuter
After missing nearly two months with a fractured hand during the regular season, San Francisco Giants prospect Joey Bart was on the wrong end of a hit-by-pitch again this week in the Arizona Fall League.
The San Francisco Giants have one of the top prospects in all of baseball in catcher Joey Bart.
The No. 2 pick in the 2018 MLB draft was limited to 79 games in his first full pro season after he suffered a fractured hand on a hit-by-pitch on April 15.
Despite the time missed, he still finished with a .278/.328/.495 line in 338 plate appearances, slugging 14 doubles and 16 home runs while reaching the Double-A level.
In order to make up for the developmental time he lost to that injury, Bart was sent to the Arizona Fall League where he would have a chance to log some additional at-bats against some of the best prospects in baseball.
The 22-year-old was off to a red-hot start in the AFL, hitting .400/.559/.920 with four home runs and 10 RBI in 34 plate appearances to earn a spot in the league’s All-Star Game.
However, that all came to an abrupt halt on Tuesday when he was again hit in the hand with a pitch.
Luckily, the injury will not require surgery, as he was diagnosed with a non-displaced fracture. While it will effectively end his 2019 season, it is not expected to have any impact on the 2020 campaign.
Despite the hiccups along the way and the time missed, it was indeed a successful first full season for the promising young backstop.
He ends the year ranked as the No. 19 in baseball by MLB.com, and the No. 15 prospect on the leaguewide Top 100 list from Baseball America.
While it’s unlikely that Bart will break camp with a spot on the Opening Day roster next spring, all signs point to a 2020 debut, at which point the San Francisco Giants will have some decisions to make about how to handle Buster Posey’s future with the club.
It’s an unfortunate end to the season, but all things considered, it was a successful year in the progression of a player who figures to be a cornerstone piece of the future.