On Monday, the Giants' top prospect and last year's no. 2 overall MLB draft pick, Joey Bart, suffered a fractured left hand during an in-game incident. In Monday's game against the Stockton Ports (Class A-Advanced), the young catcher was struck on the hand by a wild pitch and was immediately removed from the contest. Doctors later confirmed via diagnostic tests that Bart had indeed suffered a fracture in his second metacarpal.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy told the media that Bart would likely be out 4 to 6 weeks, though, doctors would re-evaluate the young catcher's injured hand in two weeks. Bochy added that this unfortunate injury was a "minor setback" in the organization's top young talent's meteoric rise through the minors.
For fans who aren't quite acquainted with Joey Bart, he was a highly-touted catching prospect coming out of Georgia Tech in the ACC. His power and improved defensive abilities led to the young prospect's landing at or near the top of many teams' draft boards. Ultimately, the Giants pulled the trigger at no. 2 overall, later signing Bart and giving him a $7.025 million signing bonus–a record for position player draftees.
A prolific college power-hitter, the Giants expected Joey Bart to round into something the organization has long been lacking–a major homerun threat. Right out of the gate, Bart proved he would be a force to be reckoned-with in the Giants organization. In his first professional action, last summer, he posted: .294 AVG/.364 OBP/.952 OPS, 13 HR, 40 RBI in just 51 total games split between Rookie-Level Arizona League (6 games) and Class A-Short Season's NWL (45 games).
Bart's success led to his receiving an invite to the Giants 2019 Spring Training, where he continued his hitting-tear. In 15 Spring Training appearances (20 official at-bats), he "slashed" an impressive .350 AVG/.381 OBP/.981 OPS, including a homerun, two doubles, and seven runs batted-in. From there, after his valuable Spring Training stint wrapped up, Bart was assigned to the (Class A-Advanced) San Jose Giants. Once again, the young stud was destroying opposing pitching, with a .270 AVG/.341 OBP/.882 OPS and a pair of homeruns in just 10 games.
All of that beautiful momentum came to a screeching halt, however, with Monday's incident. For now, Bart's main objective will be resting and allowing his fractured hand to heal before eventually rehabbing and getting back onto the field. As for how this affects the big league club, in San Francisco, Giants GM Farhan Zaidi had already previously hinted at the possibility of granting Joey Bart a September call-up. However, his recent setback may well push back an eventual Bart major league debut until the 2020 season.