One of the best catching prospects in baseball is getting his shot at the majors. The San Francisco Giants are promoting Joey Bart to the majors Thursday, according to Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic.
Bart, 23, is considered the second-best catching prospect in baseball — behind Adley Rutschman of the Baltimore Orioles. Bart was selected by the Giants with the No. 2 pick of the 2018 MLB draft. He’s hit .284/.343/.532 over two seasons in the minors.
What does Joey Bart bring to the Giants?
Bart shows “few flaws” when healthy, according to Baseball America. Bart is expected to be a contributor on both sides of the game. He’s regarded as a strong defensive player, but has the ability to hit 20 home runs annually during a regular 162-game season. Bart still has a few things to clean up offensively, but could be an All-Star if he can reach his full potential in the majors.
What will Joey Bart’s playing time look like with the Giants?
With Buster Posey opting out of the 2020 season, Bart should be considered the team’s full-time catcher moving forward. You don’t call up a prospect with Bart’s potential to sit him.
Bart should take over for Chadwick Tromp — who’s hitting .178/.188/.333 — as the team’s primary catcher. While it seems aggressive, Bart could conceivably fill in as the team’s designated hitter occasionally. Getting Bart as many reps as possible during a shortened season will be important, and there’s a strong possibility Bart is already one of the better hitters on the team, and the Giants will want his bat in the lineup more often than not.
What does the move mean for Buster Posey?
While Posey has opted out for the 2020 MLB season, he’s still under contract with the Giants through 2021. The Bart call-up signals Posey’s time as the Giants’ primary catcher could be over. When Posey returns next season, he could be looking at more time at first base, or could be the team’s designated hitter if that rule carries over into 2021. Posey, 33, could still see time behind the plate, but it could be in his best interest to move off the position in hopes that it keeps him healthy.
Following the 2021 season, the Giants can either bring Posey back for $22 million or buy him out for $3 million. Unless Posey shows major improvement in 2021 — he hit just .257/.320/.368 in 2019 — the Giants could opt to part ways with one of the franchise’s most accomplished players.
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