With the trade deadline right around the corner, the SF Giants will look to make a big splash to better position themselves for a deep playoff run. However, it might come at a steep cost and at least one name could be included in trade talks. According to a report by Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, top-catching prospect Joey Bart is the most likely premium young piece in the organization to be available. That does not necessarily mean that the Giants are eager to unload the right-handed bat, but they are keeping their options open.
Is SF Giants top prospect Joey Bart on the trade block?
Any potential trade scenario involving Bart would likely net the Giants one of the most valuable (and controllable) players on the market. It would not be for a two-month rental.
The news is mildly surprising considering that the Giants selected Bart with the second overall pick out of Georgia Tech in 2018. The 24-year-old had hit at every minor league stop before receiving an unexpected promotion to the Giants in 2020 where he slashed .233/.280/.320 (67 OPS+) with no home runs, 15 runs scored, and seven RBI in 111 plate appearances.
It was no surprise that he struggled as a rookie given that he had a total of 87 minor league plate appearances above High-A before his promotion. The Giants recognized this and made sure that he receives the minor league seasoning he needs before his next call-up.
However, Bart has appeared in two, brief stints with the Giants in 2021 where he collected two hits in six at-bats. Before either call-up, it was expected that his time on the roster would be temporary and that he would serve as an extra bat off of the bench.
Bart has excelled in Triple-A in 2021, posting a .321/.383/553 line with nine home runs, 28 runs scored, and 38 RBI across 175 plate appearances. This includes a 6.9 percent walk rate against a 28.6 percent strikeout rate, so he has continued struggling to control the strike zone.
Of course, it bears mentioning that the Giants selected another catching prospect in Patrick Bailey in the first round of the 2020 draft out of North Carolina State University. It is a bit odd to see so much draft capital go to one position in a span of three years, but Bart was selected by the previous regime. Moreover, Bart and Bailey were not the only catchers among the best prospects in the organization.
The current front office might view him differently and that is likely why there are rumors circulating that he might be available. This is due diligence on the part of the front office as Farhan Zaidi seems hesitant to trade away substantial prospect capital like Bart. Though, he needs to survey the market before reaching a conclusion.
The trade deadline is one week away, and with the SF Giants in the mix, the rumor mill will be working overtime. Not every rumor will have a solid foundation, but there could be some level of truth in what is being reported. In the case of Joey Bart, there is probably more truth than rumor in potential trade talks.