Patrick Bailey keeps looking like the Giants’ catcher of the future, while Joey Bart continues to sit out.
It’s a tough deal for Bart to be unavailable with a groin injury, but his tenuous situation is largely his own doing. Since being first called up in 2020, Bart has not made the most of any of his big-league stints. So far this season, he’s hitting a paltry .231/.286/.295 with zero home runs, while also being a worse defensive catcher than Bailey.
The sample size is small, but through a couple series Bailey looks like the better player. Does that mean Bart, who still has minor league options, could be sent down to Sacramento upon returning? Giants beat writer Andrew Baggarly believes it’s a possibility.
“Gabe Kapler said it,” Baggs said on KNBR Wednesday. “[Bart’s] not up here to be a fill in. I think that if Patrick Bailey shows that he’s the best catcher on this team, I think you’re going to see the Giants roll with him. Like you said, you don’t cut bait on anybody, you don’t give up any of your depth. Joey Bart is still somebody who has minor league options. If it comes to that and they have to send him to Triple-A because they feel Bailey is a better major league catcher, I don’t think they would hesitate to do that.
“I think it would be difficult, would be a difficult conversation. It would be a difficult look, frankly, for the Giants to do that to a guy who was a No. 2 overall pick. I think you almost have to let go of that. You almost have to let go of where a guy was drafted. Because it limits you both ways. You can give too much platform to someone when you’ve got a better option if that somebody has draft pedigree, or you can maybe not give an opportunity to somebody who doesn’t have draft pedigree.”
Bart was selected with the No. 2 overall pick in 2018 by the regime that preceded Farhan Zaidi. The fact that Zaidi selected Bailey just two years later was an indication that the regime was unsure about him as a prospect. His performances since being drafted have confirmed that.
“I think there’s a pretty good chance if Patrick Bailey plays well, he’s going to be master of his own destiny here,” Baggs concluded.