Catcher Joey Bart and outfielder Heliot Ramos, the San Francisco Giants' top two prospects (according to MLB.com), represent the next wave of young talent headed straight for Oracle Park. While both are practically bursting at the seams with talent, they also have had to deal with tough injuries early in the 2019 season.
Both of these young studs were taken in the first round of their respective drafts: Joey Bart (no. 2 overall, 2018) and Heliot Ramos (no. 19 overall, 2017). Bart was a three-year college player at Georgia Tech, winning the Johnny Bench Award, as college baseball's top catcher, after his incredible junior season behind the plate and with the bat: .359 AVG, 1.103 OPS, 16 HR, 38 RBI in 57 games (220 at-bats).
Since his arrival, Bart has absolutely torn the cover off the ball, posting: .294 AVG, .952 OPS, 13 HR, 40 RBI in 51 games, split between Rookie Level AZL Giants (6 games) and Class A-Short Season Salem-Kaizer Volcanoes (45 games). In 2019, just his first full season of professional baseball, the young backstop was making excellent headway, putting up: .270 AVG, .882 OPS, 2 HR, 8 RBI in just 10 games with Class-A Advanced San Jose Giants.
Bart's young '19 campaign was derailed when he was struck by a pitch on his left hand, fracturing the second metacarpal in his non-throwing hand. Following the April 15th injury, team physicians set the initial timetable for his return at four to six weeks. That seems to have held true, as NBC Sports Bay Area reports that Bart believes he's "coming along well" and could return to the San Jose lineup "any day now."
Ramos, the Giants' first-round pick in the 2017 draft, went down to a knee injury back in late April. The disappointing news of the Giants' injured young prospect came just two weeks after Bart was put on the injured list. The Puerto Rico-native was a highly-touted all-around talent, coming straight out of high school – the Leadership Christian Academy in Guaynabo.
Hitting the minor league circuit in the States at age 17, Ramos was sent directly to Arizona to play for the Giants' Rookie-Level AZL Giants. A season's-long assignment in rookie-ball was meant to slowly introduce the young outfield prospect to professional competition, while simultaneously allowing him to adjust to life in the U.S. While playing for the AZL Giants, Ramos torched opposing pitchers to the tune of: .348 AVG, 1.049 OPS, 6 HR, 27 RBI in just 35 games.
Following his impressive freshman campaign, the Giants' front office chose to have Ramos skip the short-season Salem-Kaizer Volcanoes, opting to send him straight to the Class-A Augusta Green Jackets. His 2018 season with the Green Jackets represented somewhat of a step backwards, as Ramos ended up hitting a pedestrian: .245 AVG, .709 OPS, 11 HR, 52 RBI in 124 games. Though, he did show promising growth, at the plate, as the year wound down.
Of the two, Ramos has actually already returned to action from his injury, playing in four games since coming off the injured list. With the San Jose Giants, Heliot has gotten off to a fast start (and picked up where he left off) in 2019: .295 AVG, 1.046 OPS, 7 HR, 14 RBI through 23 games. San Francisco's organization will monitor their young outfielder closely, possibly bumping him up to Double-A by the end of this season, should he continue to produce the way he has.
Ultimately, GM Farhan Zaidi and the rest of the Giants' front office fully expect both Bart and Ramos to eventually become solid big league performers, defensively and offensively, providing the organization with a foundation similar to that of what was formed with Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford, Brandon Belt, Pablo Sandoval, Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, and Madison Bumgarner, back in the early-2010s.