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SF Giants option prospect Joey Bart back to Triple-A

Joey Bart #21 of the SF Giants looks on walking back to his position against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the top of the eighth inning at Oracle Park on September 07, 2020. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Joey Bart #21 of the SF Giants looks on walking back to his position against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the top of the eighth inning at Oracle Park on September 07, 2020. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
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SF Giants, Joey Bart, Johnny Cueto
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 21: Starting pitcher Johnny Cueto #47 of the SF Giants talks to catcher Joey Bart during the game against the Colorado Rockies at Oracle Park on September 21, 2020. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

Before the start of All-Star weekend, the SF Giants quietly cleared the way for one of their All-Stars to return from the injured list following the midseason hiatus. The Giants optioned catching prospect Joey Bart back to Triple-A Sacramento, where he has spent most of the season, which cleared a spot on the MLB roster. Bart was recalled just before the break after star catcher Buster Posey was placed on the injured list with a thumb contusion. Posey is eligible to come off the IL on July 16th, when the Giants play their first game of the second half.

The SF Giants optioned prospect Joey Bart to Triple-A.

Bart entered the season ranked the third-best prospect in the organization and a consensus top-100 prospect in MLB. Bart was the second overall selection in the 2018 MLB draft and made his big-league debut with the Giants last season and struggled mightily, striking out 41 against just 3 walks in 111 plate appearances. Still 24, Bart has demolished Triple-A pitching this season, hitting .338/.400/.581 with eight home runs in 150 plate appearances. He has continued to struggle with punchouts and walks (42-10 K-BB ratio) but remains a viable long-term option behind the plate for an MLB team.

In a pair of curt big-league stints this season, Bart has gone 2-for-6 with a run, RBI, and two strikeouts. While Bart is lauded for his plus power, he has yet to hit his first major league homer. Still, it should be only a matter of time before he sends one into the outfield bleachers at Oracle Park.

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Since Joey Bart was optioned to the Sacramento River Cats, the SF Giants cannot recall him for ten days unless they place someone else on the injured list. Given the relative mildness of Buster Posey’s injury, it seems likely that Bart will be back in Triple-A for an extended period of time while Posey will rejoin the lineup after the All-Star break.

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