Prospect Update: Joey Bart, C, SF

Today we’ll take a look at Joey Bart, a key piece of the Giants’ rebuild.

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Name: Joey Bart, C

Status: San Jose Giants, Class-A Advanced, California League

ETA: 2021

Scouting: It’s a bit unfair for Bart to be the heir apparent to Buster Posey, a Giant hero for life. And if you’re expecting a similar profile, you can probably expect some disappointment in that regard.

The good news is, Bart has washed away all doubts about his ability to stick at catcher. He receives a 60-grade ceiling on his fielding per Fangraphs, and most scouting reports agree he will be a strong backstop with a good arm.

But in fantasy, we care more about the bat, don’t we?

Joey Bart shoulders a large share of the Giants rebuild efforts. photo credit: James Snook-Spokane Indians baseball

It gets a little murky here. Fangraphs tops his hit ability out at 45-grade, which is about a .250 hitter. However, MLB.com gives him a 50-grade. Daniel Kramer writes:

“Bart’s bat speed, strength and leverage give him power to all fields from the right side of the plate. He has the swing and the feel to hit for a solid average.”

Both scouting reports offer up that Bart has 55-grade game power.

Put it together and you’ve got a solid catcher who hits .255 with 20 homers.

Stats: How are those projections panning out? The power has been evident, certainly. In 88 games thus far in his young career, Bart has deposited 19 homers in the seats, which is well above the 55-grade pace. Most of those came in 2018, where he launched 13 bombs in just 45 games at Low-A Salem-Keizer.

He’s slowed a bit in 2019, with 6 homers in 37 games. Still, though, that’s still a solid 20+ pace.

He out-hit his projections at the lower levels, batting .294/.364/.588. This season, he’s struggling a bit to adjust to the more difficult pitching , hitting just .234 with a .288 OBP. He’s striking out every three plate appearances with a handful of walks (8).

It’s tough to assess progress with just over half the games of a real season in the statistical bank. However, Joey Bart seems to be true to his scouting report thus far, batting .269 with an .849 OPS.

To add a little bit of optimism for the future, Bart has actually reduced his GB/FB ratio from 2018 to 2019, shaving it from 1.32 to 1.15. His line drive percentage is also higher this season, increasing from 10.9% to 12.4%. Both of these are healthy increases in metrics that suggest his stats improve as 2019 progresses.

Finally, you may be wondering why Bart has a limited number of at bats this year. He fractured his hand when he was hit by a pitch back in April, and just returned to the lineup June 9. Expect the next couple of months to show us what he can do when he gets into a groove.

Summary: Joey Bart won’t win any batting titles or home run derbies, but he’s very likely to help your team compete in homers while not doing too much damage to your batting ratios.

I’d like to see that BB:K ratio get better before putting him in the top echelon of offensive catchers. But feel free to add him with confidence if he’s available in your league. He’s got a low ceiling but a decent floor, and at a position like catcher, that’s one way to help your dynasty team.

Thanks as always for reading!

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