Top prospect Joey Bart heads into spring training with all eyes on him. Is there any way he makes the Opening Day roster for the San Francisco Giants?
Bart turned a lot of heads last spring training, and the Giants are hoping that he can prove yet again that he is ready to handle major league pitching.
Bart making the Opening Day roster would certainly be a shock, especially given the unfair rules regarding player control that actually incentivize teams keeping their prospects in the minors for a few weeks to gain an extra year of control. We all remember the Kris Bryant snafu.
Bart would have to make it obvious that he is ready for the big leagues to force the hand of Kapler and Zaidi to put him on the team. With their already shaky footing among the fan base, the last thing they would want is a mutiny after Bart tears the cover off the ball in the spring.
No matter what, we are all anxious to see what Bart is made of. His stats last year in the Arizona Fall League were mighty impressive before his run was cut short by a broken wrist.
If he can show more of what he did last year, he could very well force management's hand at some point in the 2020 season.
But what exactly would it take for Bart to make the Opening Day roster? A confluence of unlikely things would have to happen, but it is not entirely out of the realm of possibility.
In the following slides, let's examine what exactly would need to happen for Joey Bart to make the San Francisco Giants Opening Day roster out of spring training.
He has to hit the cover off the ball
In order to win a roster spot, Bart not only has to have a solid spring, he has to absolutely dominate opposing pitching. We're talking close to 10 home runs and a batting average in the stratosphere.
He has to demonstrate beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is ready for the big leagues.
He would have to have a Chris Marrero or Kris Bryant-like spring and even then it would be tough for him to find his way onto the Opening Day roster. The organization probably wants to ease him into the big leagues rather than force him into the mix during a rebuild.
But it goes without saying that Bart would have to hit like a maniac to earn a spot on the Opening Day team.
Another catcher would have to get injured
Posey is the starting catcher no matter what to begin the year barring injury, and Garcia is going to be competing primarily with Tyler Heineman for the backup role.
That does not leave any room for Bart unless he outperforms Garcia and Heineman or one of them was to get injured.
Of course we want everyone to stay healthy, and if everyone does stay healthy, Bart would really have to exceed expectations to create an opening for himself on the roster.
The most likely scenario
The most likely scenario for Bart is that he begins the season at Triple-A.
There is no reason for the Giants to baptize him by fire and he will be able to further hone his skills by playing every day.
While the player control issue is an unfair one, it would benefit the team to have control over Bart for an extra year, even if it shows that the system is skewed toward organizations rather than players in this instance.
I think we all expect to see Bart playing for the Giants at some point in 2020, but it most likely won't be on Opening Day.