2 sweet: Bart goes deep twice in AFL debut

September 19th, 2019

MESA, Ariz. -- Joey Bart just keeps hitting. The Giants’ No. 1 prospect finished the year raking with Double-A Richmond and continued that success in the opener of the Arizona Fall League.

“I’m just out here playing as hard as I can,” Bart said after going 2-for-4 with two homers in Scottsdale’s 5-4 win over Mesa on Wednesday night. “I feel like a lot of people gave up on me when I went down with that injury. Yeah, I’m here to make up for lost time, but also here to compete and get better and prove to myself and prove to everyone else that my season’s not over.”

Bart, who missed just under two months after breaking his left hand, returned to the field June 4, but it took some time before he truly felt like himself at the plate. The No. 2 overall pick from the 2018 MLB Draft hit just .260 in June, but bumped that up to .289 in July before he was promoted to Double-A Richmond.

“That was tough,” Bart said about coming back from his injury. “Weeks and months after, it was still nagging. Finally getting over that, I’m glad it’s over. Getting back to myself.”

Bart has certainly looked like himself for a couple months now. The No. 20 overall prospect batted .316/.368/.544 over 22 games with Double-A Richmond to finish the season and was named the Eastern League Player of the Week in the season’s final week after going 14-for-26 (.538) with six extra-base hits and six RBIs in seven games.

On Wednesday, it was more of the same. Bart hit a no-doubt homer in the first inning and then after a groundout in his second at-bat, Bart went deep again in the seventh.

“They were cutting fastballs, both those guys had natural cut,” Bart said. “Just kind of looking for it in that spot and I put a good swing on it.”

Although he only played 79 games, Bart still put together a solid first full season. The 22-year-old Georgia Tech product hit .278/.328/.495 over two levels and hit a career-high 16 homers, including a pair of multi-homer games.

While some players come to the Arizona Fall League to work on specific parts of their games, Bart is simply looking to get additional reps and build on the solid season he just posted.

“I came to Double-A trying to play my but off, as usual, and that’s kind of what happened,” Bart said. “We came out, we had a lot of fun as a team and I’m trying to being that to the Fall League as well.”

Of course, if Bart’s first game was any indication, he’ll have plenty of fun out in Arizona.