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).