Get to know Giants' top pick 'Patty Barrels'

NC State catcher Patrick Bailey loves peanut butter, idolized … Yadi?

June 11th, 2020

The Giants landed the top-ranked catcher in the 2020 Draft, Patrick Bailey, with the No. 13 overall pick on Wednesday.

Here are 10 things to know about the 21-year-old switch-hitter from NC State, who was ranked MLB Pipeline's No. 17 Draft prospect.

• This is no knock against Buster Posey, but Bailey's catcher role model growing up? Yadi.

"Obviously the easy answer is -- and it's still him," Bailey told in a recent Q&A. "Just how easy the game comes to him, and what he does with a pitching staff, is something I've always tried to gear my game around."

• Bailey fell in love with catching in middle school, when he worked with Scott Bankhead -- an All-American pitcher at UNC and a Major Leaguer for 10 years -- at the North Carolina Baseball Academy in his hometown of Greensboro. Bankhead would bring in local college pitchers for instruction, but he needed someone to catch them. That was Bailey.

"I got back there and was catching college guys in seventh, eighth and ninth grade," Bailey said in a recent Zoom interview with local media. "At that age, I'm freaking out because I'm catching this 18-, 19-, 20-year-old guy. I think that is what kind of fueled the fire for getting behind the plate."

• A switch-hitter since age 11, Bailey homered from both sides of the plate in the same game twice in his career at NC State -- first against William & Mary as a freshman, then against Iowa this February. No other player in program history has ever done that even once.

Maybe that's why Bailey's Wolfpack teammates started calling him "Patty Barrels."

• Speaking of barrels ... grand slams are Bailey's thing. Bailey crushed three grand slams in an 11-day span this season -- the first against Tennessee Tech on Feb. 22, the second against Iowa on Feb. 28 and the third against Coastal Carolina on March 4.

Bailey's most memorable hit is also a grand slam, but it's not even one of those three. He hit another one early in his freshman season against Campbell, which has stuck with him since it was one of his first big moments of his collegiate career.

• A little personal trivia … Bailey's favorite hobby off the field is golf. His favorite snack is peanut butter, or anything with peanut butter -- pretzels, apples, whatever.

A highlight of his time at NC State? Playing against rival UNC at the Durham Bulls' stadium his freshman year, which he calls a "surreal moment." And the favorite park he's played in? BB&T Ballpark, home of the Charlotte Knights.

• Bailey was named the ACC Freshman of the Year in 2018 after setting an NC State freshman home run record with 13. As a sophomore in 2019, he was a semifinalist for the Buster Posey Award, given to the nation's best catcher (the award went to Adley Rutschman). In both '18 and '19, Bailey also played for the U.S. Collegiate National Team, in addition to playing for the 18U National Team in high school.

• Bailey recently got engaged. He and his fiancee, Leigha, are getting married in November. Bailey proposed on the beach in Turks and Caicos while they were on vacation over Christmas break. He thinks it was a surprise.

• Bailey was first drafted out of Wesleyan Christian Academy, his North Carolina high school, in the 37th round by the Twins in 2017. He and Wil Myers are the only two players to be drafted out of Wesleyan (coincidentally, Myers was also a catcher when the Royals picked him in 2009).

• His senior year of high school in 2017, Bailey led Wesleyan to a second consecutive North Carolina independent schools state championship. Bailey batted .510 with five home runs and 33 RBIs in 28 games.

• In the middle of Wesleyan's first state championship season, Bailey got the rare privilege of calling his own pitches -- he was that good behind the plate.

"We’ve never allowed our catchers to call pitches," Wesleyan coach Scott Davis told the Greensboro News & Record in 2017. "But we made that decision early last year that we were going to let him do that because he’s very capable of doing it. He understands how to attack hitters, and pitchers love throwing to him."

One of Bailey's Wesleyan teammates, pitcher Luke Davis, told the News & Record: "He's such a great receiver back there that he probably steals us at least 10 strikes a game."