2022 Pre-Season SF Giants Top Prospects: 1-5
4. Joey Bart
Weight: 238 lbs.
Projected Level: San Francisco (MLB)
MLB ETA: 2020
Tool Grades (Present/Future)
Hit 40/45 | Raw Power 60/60 | Game Power 45/55 | Speed 40/40 | Arm 55/55 | Field 60/60
PV 45 | FV 55
It was clear heading to the 2021 season that Bart needed more Minor League reps after struggling in 2020 with the big-league roster. He put the pedal to the metal right away with a scorching start to the season and was coasting well through the summer when he suffered a couple of injuries in the final month-and-a-half and never looked the same in the end.
When Bart got called up to the big leagues in 2020, most of the issues that surrounded him were about him getting beaten inside, his slightly inconsistent defense behind the plate, and struggling to develop rapport with the pitching staff, notably with Johnny Cueto. This season, Bart addressed plenty of those questions well. His defense looked on par with what people saw from him a couple of years ago. Bart looked more comfortable behind the plate with the one-kneed set-up this season and his framing job was a lot better as a result, while still being active with his legs in terms of blocking. Bart’s solid but very accurate arm is always an asset.
While Bart’s issue handling inside pitches will always be an issue for him, he’s done a better job of laying off inside pitches that he cannot handle. Bart knows his swing works best when his arms get extended, but he focused more on becoming a better contact hitter this season rather than fully selling out on hitting for power.
Bart enters the 2022 season as the favorite to win the starting catcher job after the retirement of Buster Posey. Bart’s first order of business is to build rapport with the pitching staff. While he may never be as good of a contact hitter as Posey, Bart could provide similar value defensively while being a more consistent power hitter. Bart has a high floor as an everyday starting catcher for the next five years at least and if he can hit 20+ homers while providing quality defense, he is a future All-Star. Let’s hope his second rodeo to the big leagues is much better than his first.