SAN FRANCISCO -- Catcher Joey Bart, the Giants' top prospect, heads the list announced Thursday of 18 non-roster invitees to big league Spring Training.Bart, San Francisco's No. 1 selection (second overall) in last June's Draft, ranks 23rd overall on MLB Pipeline's top prospects list. He demonstrated his potential immediately in
SAN FRANCISCO -- Catcher Joey Bart, the Giants' top prospect, heads the list announced Thursday of 18 non-roster invitees to big league Spring Training.
Bart, San Francisco's No. 1 selection (second overall) in last June's Draft, ranks 23rd overall on MLB Pipeline's top prospects list. He demonstrated his potential immediately in 45 games with the Giants' Class A Short-Season Northwest League affiliate at Salem-Keizer, recording a .298/.369/.613 slash line with 13 home runs and 39 RBIs.
Bart, 22, might have been invited to big league camp even if he lacked such a high profile, with every team bringing multiple catchers to accommodate the dozens of pitchers throwing bullpen sessions every other day.
Nevertheless, common sense dictates that Bart's presence in big league camp will give the Giants' staff ample opportunity to evaluate him.
Recent history proves that Bart's initial stint in Scottsdale, Ariz., could hasten his ascent to the Major Leagues.
Case in point: Buster Posey, who remains San Francisco's starting catcher, was drafted No. 1 (fifth overall) in 2008, received a non-roster invitation in 2009 and became a regular in 2010 when the Giants traded Bengie Molina to Texas on July 1.
Three other non-roster invitees were ranked among the Giants' top 30 prospects: Right-hander Shaun Anderson (No. 3), left-hander Garrett Williams (20) and shortstop Ryan Howard (25).
Anderson finished 8-7 with a 3.69 ERA last season between Double-A Richmond and Triple-A Sacramento. He accumulated 127 strikeouts in 141 1/3 innings.
Williams recorded a 3-9 mark with ah 6.06 ERA and 73 strikeouts in 81 2/3 innings at Richmond. Howard hit for a .273/.336/.396 slash line with four homers and 50 RBIs in 117 games at Richmond.
San Francisco's other non-roster invitees are right-handers Jamie Callahan, Enderson Franco, Kieran Lovegrove, Carlos Navas, Keyvius Sampson and Sam Wolff; left-hander Conner Menez; catchers Hamlet Marte and Cameron Rupp; infielders Zach Green, Levi Michael and Donovan Solano; and outfielders Anthony García and Henry Ramos.
Giants pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report to camp in Scottsdale on Feb. 12. Their first workout is slated for Feb. 13. Position players are due to report Feb. 17, with the initial full-squad workout set for the next day.
Chris Haft has covered the Major Leagues since 1991 and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat.