Buster Posey’s absence this season creates a big void for the San Francisco Giants, but top prospect Joey Bart won’t be rushed.
On Friday, San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey officially made his decision not to play the upcoming MLB season. That leaves an obvious void in the lineup, and it just so happens the Giants have a top catcher prospect in Joey Bart.
With Posey out of the mix, San Francisco’s depth chart at catcher is either not impressive (Rob Brantly, Tyler Heineman) or inexperienced (Aramis Garcia). So Bart, the second overall pick in the 2018 draft who was included in the team’s 60-player pool, is easy to advance as the top candidate to take over behind the plate this season.
But Giants president Farhan Zaidi and manager Gape Kapler are of one mind when it comes to Bart’s chances as a serious candidate to step in for Posey.
Bart was ranked as the No. 14 prospect in all of baseball by MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo heading this year, and with no 2020 minor league season the only place he can get playing time will be with the Giants.
But Bart only has 22 games and 87 plate appearances above High-A ball thus far in his career. He did tag Double-A pitching pretty nicely last year though, with a .316/.368/.544 slash-line (.912 OPS), four home runs, nine total extra base hits and 11 RBI over that stretch, and it’s safe to assume he would have made it to Triple-A at some point this season under normal circumstances.
It should be noted that, based on the comments which were put out there anyway, Zaidi or Kapler did not say Bart wouldn’t have a spot on the Giants’ roster for the shortened season. It’s just that he won’t be the every day catcher out of the gate, and he likely won’t fill that role this season. But there should be room for him to contribute as he gets his first taste of big league action, and he is still in line to be Posey’s successor behind the plate.