SF Giants Prospects

SF Giants: The Bart vs. Bailey Debate After The 2021 Season

Who got the upper hand in the Bart vs. Bailey debate after the 2021 Minor League season?
Who got the upper hand in the Bart vs. Bailey debate after the 2021 Minor League season? / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages
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Joey Bart, SF Giants
San Diego Padres v San Francisco Giants / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages


SF Giants: The Bart vs. Bailey Debate After The 2021 Season

Bart's 2021 Season

After a rough 2020 season, the Giants decided to put Bart to Triple-A Sacramento as he clearly needed more seasoning in the Minors. Before Bart was designated to the Minors, he actually played in a doubleheader against the Rockies where he had one at-bat as a pinch-hitter and popped out to the second baseman. Bart exploded out of the gate with a .378 average and a 1.095 OPS with three home runs. However, regression is bound to happen as he had a .500 BABIP and a 28.6% strikeout rate. Bart did fall off a bit but after 35 games, he was still batting .338 with .981 OPS and eight home runs.

When the Giants desperately needed a catcher in their big-league squad, Bart was the next-man-up and played a full game on July 10th where he went 2-5, both of which were singles, an RBI, and two strikeouts. Bart was sent back to Sacramento after the game and was doing decent with a .759 OPS but he would miss a good chunk of August and a little bit of time in September due to a groin strain and a concussion, respectively. Bart would lose the early-season momentum because of the missed time as he only hit .224 and a .551 OPS in 17 games after he came back from the groin strain. Overall, Bart posted a .294 batting average with 15 doubles, 10 homers, and a .827 OPS. His 7.5% walk rate is the second-highest that he posted in the Minors but his 29.4% strikeout rate was the highest of his Minor League career.

Based on the film study, what I saw was a mix of 2019 and 2020 Bart. His defense has been a bit of an issue in the shortened season, particularly with his receiving as he looked uncomfortable in terms of catching the stuff of the big-league pitching staff. What I saw this year with his defense is what I saw a couple of years ago: a commanding yet calm presence behind the dish, almost cotton-like softness with his framing, his solid but very accurate arm nabbing hitters on snap throws and stolen base attempts (32.6% caught stealing rate), and his sound blocking technique (only six total errors all season to the tune of a .991 fielding percentage). The power is definitely there with his swing just like in 2019 (17.9% HR/FB rate this year) and has largely kept the ball on the air (career-low 41.1% groundball rate and career-high 25.6% line-drive rate) but his high swing and miss tendency might be here to stay (13.6% swinging-strike rate).

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