Following the SF Giants decision to promote top prospect Joey Bart, the team designated Joe McCarthy for assignment to clear a 40-man roster spot for Bart.
While most fans have been rightfully excited to celebrate the promotion of top prospect Joey Bart, the SF Giants had to make a pair of other roster moves to make it possible.
Joe McCarthy was considered a potential first-round draft pick during his college days at the University of Virginia. However, back surgery and a disappointing junior season caused him to fall to the fifth round of the 2015 draft where the Tampa Bay Rays drafted him.
The Giants acquired McCarthy at last year’s trade deadline in a minor move to aid the Rays in their roster management. McCarthy was still an intriguing prospect, but was heavily blocked and would soon require 40-man protection. Tampa Bay new they weren’t going to open up a spot for him. So they decided to recoup a low-minor league prospect for him from the Giants.
A slew of injuries have taken quite a toll on McCarthy. He once projected to have a plus-hit and average power tools at the plate, but now he probably will be lucky to develop an average hit tool.
FanGraphs Prospects has remained highest on McCarthy, comparing him to former MLB first baseman Nick Johnson. They deemed McCarthy a “role-playing 1B/OF who yields value on par with a low-end regular, assuming he can stay healthy.”
McCarthy’s approach has always generated high amounts of walks, even when he hasn’t been producing at the plate. That kind of plate discipline has clearly been something targetted by Giants brass since Farhan Zaidi has taken over as the Giants president of baseball operations.
McCarthy broke camp with the Giants and started in left field on Opening Day, but after going 0-10 with 5 strikeouts and no walks, he was soon optioned to the alternate site. Still just 26-years old, there’s plenty of time for McCarthy to figure things out. However, given his long injury history, recent struggles in the minor leagues, and a terrible start to the 2020 season, it’s very likely he will pass through waivers and end up at the team’s alternate site in Sacramento.