Bart introduces himself to Pirates with a blast

April 7th, 2024

PITTSBURGH -- You only get one chance to make a first impression, and certainly made a good one on Saturday in his first swing as a Pirate in Pittsburgh's 5-4 win over the Orioles, driving an elevated cutter from Baltimore’s Tyler Wells 410 feet for a two-run home run.

Bart, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2018 MLB Draft, was acquired on April 2 for Minor League pitcher Austin Strickland. The deal was made in part because the Pirates needed another catcher with Jason Delay, Yasmani Grandal and Endy Rodríguez all on the injured list, but it also provided Bart with a fresh start after being designated for assignment by the Giants.

The homer was Bart’s first in the Major Leagues since Sept. 10, 2022. It left his bat at 109 mph, making it the highest exit velocity he’s had on a home run since July 30, 2022.

While Bart is from the Atlanta area, he and his family have plenty of ties to Pittsburgh. His father, Tommy, grew up in nearby Lower Burrell, Pa., and was a 29th-round Draft pick by the Pirates in 1979.

“It’s really cool, it’s really special,” said Bart in Washington D.C. earlier this week. “It’s really special to my family, no doubt, just with all the ties. Most of my family I have is in this area, so it’s gonna be really fun.”