For minor league baseball players, the season comes to an end in early September. But for a handful of the best prospects in the game, it continues just a few weeks later.
The Arizona Fall League begins September 18 this year, and the Giants' top prospect is scheduled to be there. The league announced Tuesday that Joey Bart will suit up for the Scottsdale Scorpions.
Talks of Bart playing in the AFL this year became more evident after the catcher missed time with a fractured hand. The Giants would like him to get more at-bats, and he'll do just that against some of the best young talent in the desert.
Bart already has tackled two levels in the minors this year and the AFL will be another big test for the No. 2 pick from the 2018 MLB Draft. In 57 games with the San Jose Giants, Bart hit .265 with 12 homers, 10 doubles and a .793 OPS before being promoted to Double-A Richmond.
Through 10 games in Double-A, Bart is batting just .206 in the pitcher-friendly Eastern League. But he did snap an 0-for-11skid Monday and hit his 14th long ball on the year.
J💣EY BART pic.twitter.com/ExHR8i8B38— Richmond Flying Squirrels (@GoSquirrels) August 19, 2019
Bart has impressed behind the dish this season and minor league coaches named him the best defensive catcher in the California League while he was in San Jose. The AFL could be the perfect time to experiment with his defense, though.
Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi recently told The Athletic's Andrew Baggarly that he wants Bart to add another position to his arsenal besides catcher. The 22-year-old has served as either catcher or DH in his entire minor league career. The same goes for his time at Georgia Tech.
Could the Giants get Bart some time as a first baseman this fall? What about third base? Bart seems like San Francisco's catcher of the future, but adding versatility to his game will only get him to Oracle Park faster.
For every Bart Bomb at the plate, keep your eyes on if he's playing anywhere else but behind it.