SF Giants top prospects: No. 3 — C Joey Bart
Highest Level: MLB (SFG)
Acquired: Draft (2018)
Future-Value Grade: 50+
I’ve been the low man on Joey Bart since the lead-up to the 2018 draft. His profile reminded me of Mike Zunino, and first-round catchers outside of Buster Posey just do not have a solid track record.
I had to eat some crow on that projection early on. Then, when the Giants surprisingly promoted him to the MLB roster in 2020, he showed many of the shortcomings and limitations that Zunino had early in his career. Still, it did not change my evaluation of Bart in either direction.
I always saw Bart as a big-league contributor; my reaction was more about upside. Elite power-first catchers like Gary Sanchez are few and far between. Yet, that remains Joey Bart’s only obvious path to stardom. He struggled defensively in his big-league debut, but in a unique circumstance, there’s still more reason than not to believe Bart should become an above-average defensive catcher.
The questions around his hit tool remain. If it reaches league-average, he should be an impact player. However, even if it tops out at a 40, that should be enough to have a Zunino-like career. The important thing with Bart will be tempering expectations. A good catcher is far less exciting than an equivalent outfielder. However, if this is Buster Posey’s last season with the Giants, Bart remains the heir apparent behind the plate.