SAN FRANCISCO -- It's been less than a year since the Giants selected catcher Joey Bart with the second overall pick in the 2018 MLB Draft, but the 22-year-old catcher is already generating plenty of excitement within the organization.
The buzz should continue to grow next week when Bart reports to his first big league camp in Scottsdale, Ariz. Bart, who is ranked the club's No. 1 prospect by MLB Pipeline, headlines San Francisco's list of non-roster invitees this year, making him an intriguing storyline to follow early in Spring Training.
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The Georgia Tech product certainly lived up to the hype after making his professional debut last season, batting .298 with a .983 OPS, 13 home runs and 39 RBIs in 45 games with Class A Short-Season Salem-Keizer. That performance helped land him at the top of MLB Pipeline's overall list of catching prospects last month.
Bart is set to open the 2019 season at Class A Advanced San Jose alongside outfielder Heliot Ramos, who is ranked as the club's No. 2 prospect. Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi has said he likes to challenge prospects with aggressive promotions, so Bart could make a quick rise through the farm system as a highly touted college pick.
While Bart will require more seasoning before he's ready to impact the big league club, the Giants will have the opportunity to watch their bright young catcher closely once Spring Training begins. Bart will likely have the opportunity to get some early looks with Buster Posey coming off major hip surgery, and the club will be cautious with Posey's workload to ensure that he's ready for Opening Day.
Manager Bruce Bochy said he is looking forward to seeing more of Bart in the coming weeks.
"I've heard a lot about him, obviously," Bochy said on Friday. "With Buster missing some time, that may help [Bart] get a little playing time. He's a guy that I'd like to give some time early before he goes down [to Minor League camp] so we get a chance to watch his skill set."