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SF Giants top catching prospect Joey Bart activated off IL

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
Joey Bart #21 of the SF Giants at-bat against the San Diego Padres at Oracle Park on September 27, 2020. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

The Sacramento River Cats, the SF Giants Triple-A affiliate, have activated catcher Joey Bart off of the injured list. Bart has not played in a game since August 6th while he recovered from a quad strain. This year, Bart has appeared in 50 games with the River Cats and is hitting .314/.379/.536 with 13 doubles and 10 home runs. He also has two hits in six at-bats from a pair of short MLB stints.

SF Giants prospect Joey Bart has returned from the IL at Triple-A.

The Giants drafted Bart with the second overall pick in the 2018 MLB draft, and he’s quickly climbed the organizational ladder, making his big-league debut in 2020. However, Bart struggled mightily against MLB pitching, posting a .233/.288/.320 triple-slash with zero home runs. Still, he remained well regarded around the league and was ranked the third-best prospect in the organization entering the year.

Bart is expected to be an above-average defensive catcher and has the power potential to generate more than 20 home runs a season at the big-league level. However, questions persist around his ability to put the ball in play. While Bart has undeniably had a great season at Triple-A, his strikeout (29.0%) and walk rates (7.5%) are both below-average.

Giants catcher Buster Posey has missed the last few games after suffering a minor knee injury but is back in the lineup for Friday’s series opener against Atlanta. Backup catcher Curt Casali appeared to suffer some concussion-like symptoms in Thursday’s 3-2 victory over the Mets, but according to manager Gabe Kapler, he is feeling much better and is unlikely to need a stint on the concussion IL.

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While the SF Giants hope they will not need to rely on Joey Bart this season, the organization should be able to recall one of the best catching prospects in MLB if necessary.

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