Giants fans got their first look at catcher-of-the-future Joey Bart in 2020, but it sounds as though Bart’s likely destination to open the 2021 season will be back in the minor leagues. As Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area writes, Giants president of baseball ops Farhan Zaidi suggested in his end-of-year chat with reporters that Bart could still use some more development time. Buster Posey will be back after opting out of the 2020 season, and Zaidi pointed out that Aramis Garcia will be back from hip surgery as well.
Zaidi also implied that the club could add a veteran backup to its catching corps over the winter: “Getting some help (would) enable Joey to get a little bit more of that development.”
Fan expectations for Bart this season were sky-high and, as is most often the case, probably unfair. The 23-year-old former No. 2 overall pick had scarcely played above Class-A Advanced, with just 22 games of Double-A work under his belt when he was called to the big leagues this year. Posey’s opt-out and a lack of appealing options elsewhere in the organization forced the move, and while Bart impressed early, his production soon wilted. His final 45 plate appearances were particularly tough, as Bart collected just seven hits and punched out 18 times down the stretch. Overall, his .233/.288/.320 slash and 37 percent strikeout rate certainly suggest that he’d benefit from some time in Double-A and/or Triple-A.
The organization remains “super high” on Bart, Zaidi stressed, pointing to Bart’s strong exit velocities and hard-hit rate. There’s little doubt that Bart is still the team’s long-term plan at catcher, but it’s also readily apparent that the lack of a minor league season in 2020 hampered Bart’s progression a bit, as it did for so many others throughout the league.
Beyond poking around the market for a backup catcher, the Giants will have some other work to do. Zaidi has expressed interest in re-signing free agents Kevin Gausman and Drew Smyly, and Kerry Crowley of the San Jose Mercury News adds that Zaidi felt his club was “one left-handed bat short” in 2020. A lefty bat who can play multiple positions and give Evan Longoria some breathers a third base seems ideal, Crowley writes. That could be a role the Giants hoped Pablo Sandoval would fill in 2020, although it obviously didn’t play out that way.
Speculatively speaking, Tommy La Stella would seem an ideal fit in that role. Other options on this year’s market include Asdrubal Cabrera, Jake Lamb, Marwin Gonzalez, Brad Miller and rebound hopeful Brock Holt (among others). The trade market would create myriad other possibilities.
It stands to reason based on the interest in retaining Gausman and Smyly that the Giants will explore other rotation upgrades should that pair eventually sign elsewhere. There’s little certainty in the rotation without that pair. Johnny Cueto will be back for the final season of his contract but struggled for much of the 2020 season. Young righty Logan Webb made 11 starts but finished with a 5.47 ERA. The Giants control Tyler Anderson for another season, and he was solid if unspectacular in 2020.
Beyond Gausman, Smyly, Cueto, Anderson and Webb, the only other pitchers to start multiple games for San Francisco in 2020 were Trevor Cahill (six) and Jeff Samardzija (four). Both are out the door this winter, as is veteran lefty reliever Tony Watson. Starting pitching and relief pitching should be a focus if the Giants plan to contend next year.
And at the end of the day, for all the talk of how the Giants have been rebuilding, Zaidi expressed for a second consecutive winter that his goal remains to put a playoff team on the field next year. San Francisco was in the hunt for a Wild Card spot until the final day of the season in 2020, per Crowley.
The Giants should have financial leeway to augment the roster, with about $96MM committed to next year’s payroll and what should be a light arbitration class. Looking ahead to 2022, Longoria’s $19.5MM salary is the lone guaranteed contract on the ledger. The widespread expectation is that teams will be rather reserved on the free agent market this winter after substantial revenue losses in 2020. But if the Giants want to spend, they have a rather wide-open payroll outlook that should allow them to do so.
I assume those saying Bart is a bust are being sarcastic. If not, then those individuals need to get a better grip on prospect development. Bart was rushed up a year before he should have been, but all his skills are evident and with a little more time in development camp next year, since there will not be a minor league season until June, will provide him the chance to polish up those rough edges. He has the ability to be a top ten catcher and to criticize him so harshly is a sad commentary on you.
@fffbb So you’re aware, those two posts above are the exact same guy. I’ve seen him do it before. Today I hopped in here and he had just posted his first comment. Two seconds later the smoke comment magically appeared agreeing with bitches comment. Both suddenly had ‘thumbs up’ votes. He’s writing as two people agreeing with his own posts and boosting them with votes. Not only is that time-consuming, but it is also only for his own validation because no one else cares a bit.
I’m guessing he has zero life and this is how he thinks he’s leaving his mark on the world. It must be sad not being able to talk to girls and spending Saturday nights alone.
Bart was brought up way to soon. Don’t blame the GM its the top management that has always pushed their agenda onto the GM. last year top management refused to let him trade players because they wanted a completive team so fans fill the seats. Bart should start next year at AAA so he can learn hitting the breaking ball more. He will be a very good catcher.
Yep, a timid creature who thinks those 27 rings are a reflection of his superiority over us mere mortals.
Holy crap if that’s true that’s hilarious!!! it also totally makes sense because even though I’m admittedly not solid on Bart being a surefire ‘superstar’ no one would Already be calling him a “bust” let alone two people instantly agreeing on the same point that’s just a bogus perspective to begin with. I actually lol’ed reading this and thinking about how much of a loser you have to be to make 2 different accounts on here and then go and “agree with yourself”. like that is just so lame it’s hysterical!
Bart will be good eventually. Learning how to catch at the MLB level is probably asking too much from anyone and once Joey gets a little more experience in the minors he will be ready for round two at the MLB level. People maybe forget that Trout looked overwhelmed too his first go around in the Majors. It is all about adjustments and Joey has what seem to be some pretty good coaches around him to help him get there. One thing he will need to do is improve his quick twitch and get rid of the lazy set up he has before the pitch. I expect to see him make the adjustments for next season
wild bill tetley
Bart is a bust already? So soon? Guy hasn’t seen a pitch in AAA and suddenly his career is over before the age of 25. Yep, makes perrrrrfect sense.
Giants aren’t catching the Dodgers or Padres next year. The goal is 3rd unless Arizona decides to spend. 5th is not out of the question either.
the Giants need a closer which should be their #1 priority in the free agent market. They do not have any options on their team right now to close.
Given that the Giants are in a rebuild, finding a closer should be the least of their priorities.
I never said they should get the top closer on the market. They need to get a closer to give confidence to the starting staff. The middle of the bullpen can be fixed but having nobody to close is a problem. Teams in rebuild mode pick up old closers that can teach the young bullpen pitchers how to close out.
They’d be better off trying to find someone within their organization or a reclamation project to fill in at closer than sign someone.
Closer? Why? They don’t win enough games to worry about having some sort of big name closer. Franchise just booked it’s 4th straight below .500 season. And next year most likely will be the same. They are several years away from thinking like that
While I don’t think spending big money on a closer makes sense right now, having a good closer does two things:
A. Provides confidence for the whole team
B. Wins those close games where you have the lead in the 8th and 9th.
The Giants blew I think 6 games in the 9th inning this short season. If they held on to two of those they were in the playoffs, if they held on to all 6 they end up tied for the 3rd best record in the NL.
So yes a good closer makes a huge difference. It would be great if Moronta comes back and can fill the job.
Make an offer for Johan Camargo for that lefty bat (switch-hitter) that could spell Longo @ 3B and play multiple positions.
I don’t think infield depth is what they need right now. Their infield was pretty crowded as is so they had to move Dubon from 2B to CF. Plus Daniel Robertson seems to fill the utility role pretty well.
You’re an idiot. The only reason Dubon got play in CF is they lacked a CF with a bat most ofc the season. And sure they have plenty of inf, doesn’t necessarily mean they are all good or sticking around.
One thing to note is that the Giants had two rookie catchers this season, not one veteran catcher was here to serve as a role model or to teach anything to Bart. I think he will progress much more with Posey at his side next year.
Baseball 1600, Bart’s 2020 development was hampered by not having a typical minor league season. While that was true of all minor leaguers, it was probably more detrimental to catchers due to the level of responsibility. I agree that Posey’s presence will have a positive influence on Bart’s development, as will a (hopefully) normal spring training.
Definitely, but also watching Bart you could tell a lot of his mistakes (especially defensively) were from lack of experience. Typically a veteran mentor helps you with that stuff.
So far, Joey Bart has been a Huge disappointment. Maybe he goes down next year to AA and figures some things out. Regardless, he doesn’t comparatively project to be an Impact bat. Maybe a league average guy one day. Fans are trying to defend him but his limited exposure at the MLB level is no excuse. Even in a small sample size. A future Impact guy shows some life. Bart didn’t even hit one home run!
Last Year Will Smith in his Rookie year only played in 54 games. Kid had a .907 OPS w/ 15 HR’s , 9 2Bs and 42 RBI
In 2016 Gary Sanchez , in his Rookie year only played in 53 games. He slugged 20 Jacks and had a 1.032 OPS
You’re calling him a disappointment based on 33 games and 111 plate appearances? That is way premature. Btw, Smith’s and Sanchez’s situations were completely different. They debuted on championship-caliber teams with plenty of catching support on the MLB roster and weren’t called up during a pandemic. In Smith’s case. he was called up as a non-active player the previous September so he could learn the ins-and-outs of handling a big-league pitching staff.
Who cares if Bart hit zero home runs? Reggie Jackson hit just one in 135 PAs as a rookie with 10 BB, 46 SO, and a .178 BA. He wound up being an impact bat, as I recall. There are many other examples. Gotta be patient. I roll my eyes at fans who want to bench every struggling player. If teams did that, there wouldn’t be anyone left to play in the games.
Rightyspecialist has come on his fourth alt account. Nice to see. So by your logic, Casey Mize is also currently a bust? What about the draft picks that didn’t get called up yet, are they also busts? Give me a break.
And since that stellar rookie season Sanchez has finished with two seasons hitting below .200 and has struck out over 400 times. If Sanchez didn’t hit Home Runs he’d be in the minors somewhere himself so its way too soon to write off Bart
Dubs, I get tired of having to teach you things. Will Smith had 4 years (288 games) in the minors prior to making his ML debut, Sanchez had 7 years (636 games) of minor league experience before sticking in the majors. Bart had parts of 2 seasons (130 games) in the low minors before being called up in this mess of a season.
Sanchez also has had tons of defensive issues which is bad for any position but double that for a catcher.
You can cherry pick your stats however you want to try to make your weak arguement, but as is usual when you try to claim your a Giants fan knocking everything they do and everyone on the team you are WRONG.
@ band waggon dubs fan
will smith had 670 plate appearances between AA and AAA
Gary Sanchez had 1,350 plate appearances between AA and AAA
joey bart has had 87
id have to say they were a little more prepared and didnt just get thrown into the bigs before they were ready.
joey bart is going to be just fine
Based on the comments here, I wonder how many of these people thought Mike Trout was a bust when he had a .672 OPS in his first 135 plate appearances, or would have thought A-Rod would never blossom into a perenial MLB player after having a 56 OPS+ in his first 208 plate appearances, or would have thought Hank Aaron would never be a decent power hitter because he only hit 13 home runs in his first year.
Many of the lefty hitters you mentioned could have been had instead of Justin Smoak.
Bart had to play at the ML level this season just to get some development in. Its not his fault the minor league season was canceled.
The Giants should have added a veteran Catcher the day Posey opted out of the season and they didn’t
I warned Giant fans who overhyped the — out of Bart that he was not the next Posey. Posey was Barts age. now when he won ROY and lead SF to the title. Bart is not nearly as good of a hitter.
I wonder what kind of contract Marcel Ozuna is looking for. I know the story says they want an left hand bat and he’s a righty. But the Giants have had a carousel left fielders since Bonds left.
I like the direction the Giants are headed in and hopefully they can augment their team with smart free agent signings and retain Gausman and Smyly.
I’ve said this before but it bears repeating: please do not get sucked into replying to the trolls or negative commentary from the anti-Giant posters who shall go unnamed so as not to give them credibility. I enjoy reading critical comments that are well thought out; scrolling through replies to incendiary dribble intended to get your goat is tiresome and you just accomplish the goals of those poor miserable souls . You know they’re probably Dodger fans with inferiority issues right?
wild bill tetley
Thanks Dave. Giants can re-sign Gausman and Smyly. They’ll still miss the playoffs and hang in mediocrity. Sorry. It takes a non-Giants fan and an outsider to give you the cold, hard truth. This isn’t hating. This is an honest observation that Giant fans do not want to face or acknowledge. You don’t have to be a Dodgers fan to see that.
I don’t see any Giant fans here saying they will contend next year. It easy to see they are a year or 2 away from contending for the playoffs. They have way to many holes to fill and with Dodgers and Padres in same division it will be tough to sneak into a spot. There are some good young players but not enough. Their defense in the outfield needs to be taken care of. they need some more starters. A good closer. That is way to much for them to fill in just 1 off season.
wild bill tetley
Arc you should check the previous few Giants threads. You’d be amazed.
I see many that think their GM is doing a bad job when he has done a good job of the players he was given. Those are the bandwagon fans that do not understand that in baseball a good 5 year run is lucky and it ends.
Playoffs? That’s just laughable.Frisco fans are delusional in that sort of ‘MAGA’ way. They’re a bunch of nincompoops
The Giants just finished their 4th consecutive below .500 losing season . The Goal for San Fran is not the playoffs . The Goal to finish above .500
Wasn’t finishing above .500 the Padres goal this year? How did that turn out?
Cue the excuses for why “That’s different!”
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a big believer in the Giants. But they did better this year than I expected them to.
If the Giants land Trevor Bauer and bolster their pitching staff would they still be mediocre?
I did say they should make smart free agent decisions and Bauer might not be a smart move but there will be guys available (Liam Hendriks et al) who can bolster this team. I actually think Coonrod or even Gott could be the closer but they need to develop their mindset more than anything.
I’d also love the Giants to make a play for Lance Lyn and wouldn’t be opposed to trading Slater or even Dickerson as part of a package to get it done.
Clearly upgrades are needed as this team was mediocre by the standings but the flashes of brilliance were quite something to behold. This is a team in transition not rebuilding and there will be growing pains. But 2021 will see the last vestiges of the championship teams departing and a new era on the horizon. It’s a great time to be a Giant fan!
@Dave, your first post seemed ok, then you went and made a post about trading Slater or Dickerson for Lance Lynn. Lynn is 33, going to be 34 next season, trading for him makes 0 sense. If the Giants are contenders soon, having Lynn as a #3 would be nice, but with how good the two teams in the south are right now ( and the padres will likely be better next season) the only way the Giants contend is if they spend a bunch in free agency, and I don’t think there are many game changers that are hitting the market this offseason. I think Dickerson has shown when healthy and in the right state of mind he is a solid starter in the Majors. Slater I have been pushing/rooting for, for 5+ years since he really showed what he could do in the minors, but he keeps getting hurt. When healthy he is someone that can hit .290 with 15 HRs and 20 SBs in a full season.
You can’t trade either of these guys for a 34 year old #3 or 4 starter. Not that either guy may ever be an all star, but a. the Giants don’t have minor leaguers ready in the OF b. Lynn at that age and this time for the Giants makes no sense to acquire.
I view Lyn as more of a #2 pitcher and a guy who can win playoff games. I think the Giants should look at moving either Slater or Dickerson as their value is highest right now and they’re no spring chickens. And they’ve both been injury prone.
I’m hoping Ramos can replace Slater as a right handed OF; I’d prefer Giants kept Dick and move him to first after Belt leaves.
I know Slater has a lot of potential but at this point I’d trade him for 1 year of Lyn if we get his production from last 2 seasons; Slater is replaceable.
No Wild Bill. You are just like 27bitches. You whine about Giants fans, and don’t come up with one substantive idea about how they can improve. You don’t see how the talent in the Minors continues to improve. Zaidi preaches OBP which is evidenced by the increased offensive production. So what if takes a few seasons of mediocrity. It will lead to a much stronger overall organization. I know you boomers expect everything to happen right now.
wild bill tetley
Was I the one supposed to give you the roadmap to success? Lucky me.
You’ve changed your tune from “GIants are competitive” to “Giants are mediocre”. I guess my job is done as you have acknowledged my point. Congrats and you are welcome.
Making an assumption on age is very telling. One would say your comment lacks “substantive” evidence? Anyway, keep lying to yourself. I did not know pointing things out what considered whining but evidently you do like to make false presumptions.
I never said they were contenders. It is not delusional to say the team’s offense is greatly improved. The talent level in the Minors continues to improve. You need to offer up evidence to the contrary, or shut up.
Idk if I’m really as sold on Bart as all the hype seems to be with him. If he wasn’t the 2nd overall pick 2 years ago… I’m not sure that he’d really be as high profile as he is based on his numbers thus far in the minors. He was good in his first pro season and solid enough last year — and from what I’ve heard his defense is also quite solid. But it’s not like he’s really torn through minor league pitching and he isn’t particularly young (comparatively to other top prospects). I definitely think he could still develop into a quality ML catcher… but I’m just not sure I’m sold on him being this ‘heir-apparent’ second-coming of Posey. But having said all of that — catchers are sometimes a little bit slower to develop/reach their full potential vs other positions… so maybe he’ll be one of those guys and in a couple years will Actually live up the the expectations… I’m just not quite sold yet on that being a sure thing.
Yeah, I’m not sure why people continue to compare him to Posey. Except for a cup of coffee in 2009, Posey hit as soon as we was up.
Maybe defensively they are comparable, but I never that it was accurate to say that he was the second coming of Posey. The hit tool is not the same; Posey is a pure hitter, while Bart is a power threat. It didn’t translate by traditional means this season, but his hard hit rate and average. exit velocity indicate that he has above average power. Will he hit enough to be able to use it is the question.
@Jeff, please see my comment above on how little minor league experience Bart actually has. The problem is there are so many people who think a player should be ready to hit in the majors right away, 99% can’t just play one season in the minors and come up, and he isn’t just learning how to hit ML pitching, he’s also learning how to get ML hitters out which means he can’t just focus on hitting like an OF prospect can.
Posey is definitely the exception not the rule, look at how many top prospect catchers have never turned into All Star types in their careers. Bart has plenty of talent, let’s see with time if he can succeed with it.
Giants fan here:
I don’t understand why people tend to label teams as contenders or trash so early after the end of the regular season. The product you are analyzing is not even the one that will be competing April 1st.
Bart needs development and will end up in AAA next year. Posey, Aramis Garcia, and possibly Heineman will be catching for the Giants next year. If they want the switch hitting Heineman on the roster, I could see them carrying a 3rd catcher from time to time as the season goes on.
The improvement of the offense will most likely fall back down to earth in a regular 162 game season.
Yaz, Dick, Slater, and Dubon are a good start in the outfield. Adding a natural Center fielder might be a priority depending on what the team thought of Dubon’s play there.
Regular rest for the infield will be needed as all four starters will be well into their 30’s at the start of the season.
To do that, the Giants have C’s who play 1st and could possibly bring back Ruff, You have Wilmer Flores under contract who can spell Solano and Longoria, but you will need a capable player to not only fill in at SS, but also 2nd and 3rd base.
That could be players like:
Freddy Galvis or Didi Gregorius
Both should be well within the Giant’s budget.
The real money though will be spent on pitching, and how much will depend on what the front office believes the offense can do next year.
There’s no reason to not bring back Gausman and Smily if they are interested, and retaining Watson would be great for the bullpen if the money is right and he is okay with being away from Illinois. .
Tyler Beede will be back at some point next year to add to Cueto and Webb.
Minor leaguer Hjelle shows the potential to continue to move fast in the minors, however his numbers did not trend in the right direction as he moved to the more advanced levels of the minor leagues.
Bringing in a Trevor Bauer could make sense, but only if we would be willing to sign a multiyear deal.
The other consideration to make is the rest of the division. All four teams will be trying to contend, and this will make those 76 games more difficult to win.
As for the minor leaguers in the system, I would freeze them all at their current level and see what they do. A year off from professional sports is not something typically considered to improve a player’s ability.
The free agent market shapes up well for the Giants, similar to the Angels. Plenty of guys like La Stella and Villar around to cover multiple infield spots, a huge glut of mid rotation arms and relievers.
Joey Bart showed why the Giants picked another catcher for their first pick in the last draft.
The only skill he showed promise with was his throwing arm. Pitch framing and ball blocking were poor. Lots of swing and miss. He really didn’t look good.
They picked another catcher because they thought that was the best player they could land. No one knew how Bart would do in the bigs at that time, as he hadn’t yet played there when Bailey was selected. And the reasoning was that you could always move one of the two to 1B once Belt is gone. That’s still very much true.
The jury is still out on Bart. He got off to a great start, you might recall. Out of his first 15 AB, probably about five were very nearly home runs. He flagged later in the season because he has not yet adjusted to getting pitched inside. This is exactly the kind of thing he can work on at AAA.
Jaylin Davis looks like far more of a bust to me. But I’m optimistic that he’ll find his footing, too. The difference is that he’s had a lot of time at AAA and Bart has not.
Baily was the best ‘Catcher’ they could land. They picked Baily because Zaidi had concerns about Bart. The 2020 MLB Draft was about Big College arms. Not Catchers. Zaidi took a Catcher because of perceived organizational need. If Joey Bart really Projected, Zaidi would have taken one of the better College arms that he so desperately needs
Exactly. That swing doesn’t play at the MLB level. But, Baseball stupid Frisco fans here think he’s a potential SUPER STAR. They think he needs more time in the Minor Leagues. But they fail to say that 7-8 weeks ago, they were all whining about bringing him up from the instructional camp. So, stupid
The truth is Barts minor League numbers aren’t great either. So, I’m not sure that more minor league AB’s will equal better big league results.
Personally, I agree with other comments here that he’s probably a Bust.
Agreed Bart looked terrible
None of you idiots that think Bart is going to be fine know what will really happen. Most of you probably thought Brown, Strickland, and any giant busts would be ok. Is he going to be as bad as this year? Maybe not. But plenty of younger players than Bart are already succeeding in the league. I could understand his lack of defensive skills but at least show hitting skills which he did not. Not good for a guy almost 25 yrs old.
Came late to this thread and after reading all the comments I’m compelled to say just how sick I am of all of the posters that have some personal vendetta against the Giants and their fans
Is this what happens on every team’s threads?
If you hate the team, why are you following the articles so closely?
Are these posters really such small, pathetic creatures that they need to actively go out of their way to insult people (and all our intelligence) for being fans of particular baseball team?
My mind boggles at the depths of self hatred or narcissism, I can’t tell which, that motivates them and makes them think that their behavior is acceptable for mature adults
Being a fan means rooting for your team and enjoying the sport, if the only joy you get out of baseball (or anything competitive) is taking someone down a peg you’re not just a troll, I’m pretty sure your a sociopath
It is surprising the Giants and their fans are so forgiving towards Busty Poser for bailing out on them. This is something a bad teammate does. Bringing up Bart was a mistake. He can only think he is in over his head at the major league level, which he is for the time being.