The San Francisco Giants have called up catcher Joey Bart, their top prospect in one of MLB’s best farm systems.
Bart, 23, is expected to make his MLB debut on Thursday night when the Giants face the Los Angeles Angels. He is considered to be the heir apparent to Buster Posey, who opted out of the 2020 season for personal reasons.
Giants promote catcher Joey Bart
Bart, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 MLB Draft, is considered one of the top prospects in baseball. His debut will come just a day after Detroit Tigers pitcher Casey Mize, the No. 1 pick in 2018, made his pro debut.
Bart starred in college at Georgia Tech, winning the ACC Baseball Player of the Year Award and the Johnny Bench Award in 2018. In his final season with the Yellow Jackets, he hit 16 home runs, 12 doubles and recorded a 1.102 OPS in 57 games.
After signing with San Francisco for a $7.025 bonus, Bart spent six games at the Rookie ball level before being promoted to the team’s Low-A affiliate. Across 45 games, he hit 13 home runs with a .298/.369/.613 slash line.
Bart began the 2019 season at High-A San Jose, but experienced some growing pains with the jump in competition. He posted a.793 OPS in 251 plate appearances before being moved up Double-A ball, where he slashed .316/.368/.544 with four home runs in 22 games.
When Posey announced he wouldn’t play this season, many expected it would open the door for Bart to make his MLB debut. While it took nearly a month, he will now get to live out his dream. If he performs well, the Giants might face a difficult decision with their future Hall of Fame catcher and the next face of the franchise.
San Francisco Giants top prospects
Just a few years after having one of MLB’s worst farm systems, president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi has reshaped San Francisco’s future. The Giants now boast the 14th best farm system in baseball, according to Baseball America, and more talent is on the way.
Bart is currently the top prospect in the system, but he may not hold on to that spot for long. Marco Luciano, who the Giants signed for $2.6 million in 2018, could be the next star for this organization.
The 18-year-old shortstop has incredible raw power, with MLB Pipeline making the case for it as the best among all minor-league infielders. He also has a quick bat with the ability to hit for a high average. On top of that, he projects as an above-average defender at third base with the potential to be an MVP-caliber hitter.
Behind him, outfield prospects Heliot Ramos and Hunter Bishop both profile as long-term starters in San Francisco’s lineup. Ramos will likely shift to a corner outfield spot, with his power a driving tool for his value.
The Giants boast a wealth of hitting prospects in their farm system, including catcher Patrick Bailey and intriguing outfielder Alex Canario. Likely headed for a top-five pick in the 2021 MLB Draft, they may turn their attention towards adding more pitchers.