Giants

Comparing Giants top draft pick Patrick Bailey to Joey Bart in college

Comparing Giants top draft pick Patrick Bailey to Joey Bart in college

The first question that came to mind from fans and outsiders when the Giants selected North Carolina State catcher Patrick Bailey with the No. 13 pick in the 2020 MLB Draft was, "why?"

The Giants drafted Joey Bart with the No. 2 overall pick just two years ago, so there's no reason to grab another catcher so high. Right?

Well, Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi made it quite clear when talking with Bay Area reporters Wednesday night.

"You don't draft for need -- I won't even say need, but perceived need -- and you can never have too much catching," Zaidi said. 

Yes, and yes. 

Both statements couldn't be more true. The MLB draft is nothing like that of the NFL or NBA. This isn't about team needs or immediate impact. And as Zaidi said, you can never have too much catching. 

Whether you like it or not, the DH likely is coming to the NL in the near future and rosters already have expanded to 26 players. Zaidi also is infatuated with positionless baseball and defensive versatility. All the above reasons make it more understandable why the Giants took Bailey with their top pick.

So, how does Bailey compare to Bart? Let's take a look at their college careers.

Bart (144 games): .321/.407/.544, 30 HR, 35 2B, 112 RBI, 115 R
Bailey (131 games): .302/.411/.568, 29 HR, 28 2B, 106 RBI, 115 R

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Bart exploded his junior year, batting .359 with 16 home runs. Bailey was on his way for a huge junior season as well before it was shut down due to the coronavirus (COVID-19 pandemic). He had a .296 batting average with six homers, 20 RBI and a .685 slugging percentage in only 17 games. 

Both powerful catchers played in the same conference, tearing apart ACC pitchers. Bart won the Johnny Bench Award, given to the top catcher in the country, his final year in college. Bailey was a semifinalist for the newly-named Buster Posey Award after his sophomore season when he hit .288 with 10 homers. 

While he's seen as one of the best defensive catching prospects in baseball, Bart is much more imposing and physically advanced compared to Bailey. Bart stands 6-foot-3 and is listed at 235 pounds. Bailey, listed at 6-2 and 207 pounds looks like a prototypical catcher.

Bailey entered college as one of the most well regarded defensive catchers in the country. He came to NC State with some questions about his offensive impact, but quickly answered those. The newest Giants prospect was named ACC Freshman of the Year when he broke an NC State freshman record of 13 home runs while batting .321 with a .604 slugging percentage. 

As Giants fans have been begging for more power hitters, Bailey and Bart certainly have plenty of that. They also can get a little too strikeout-happy at times. Bart struck out 56 times in 57 games as a junior and Bailey had 18 strikeouts -- but also 17 walks -- in 17 games this season.

[RELATED: What fans need to know about Giants first-round pick Bailey]

Prior to their draft years, Baseball America ranked Bart as the fifth-best prospect in the 2018 draft class and Bailey as No. 14 this year. They have similarities at the plate and strong arms behind the dish. 

Giants fans drool every time Bart bashes a deep blast. They dream of him soon doing so at Oracle Park. Bailey should bring the same hopes as well.

Before being drafted, both prospects had college track records that would make any front office more than happy adding them to their farm system.

Watch McCovey Cove Dave lose two baseballs during Giants-Rangers game

Watch McCovey Cove Dave lose two baseballs during Giants-Rangers game

Global pandemic or not, some Giants fans refuse to give up one of the organization's most unique traditions.

A group of fans has continued taking kayaks out into McCovey Cove, just over the right-field wall at Oracle Park, hoping to snag one of the elusive splash hits off the bat of a Giants slugger.

However, even if the home run comes off the bat of an opponent like Texas Rangers outfielder Shin-Soo Choo, fans will go to great lengths to secure the ball.

[RELATED: Aruba Prime Minister wished Tromp well after Giants call-up]

You can see one of the Giants' more prominent fans, McCovey Cove Dave, jump (or more accurately slide) out of his kayak in an effort to secure Choo's two-run home run. Not only does he not get the home run ball from Choo, but another ball that slips out of Dave's kayak ended up in the hands of a female fan.

As you can see from Dave's Twitter account Sunday, social distancing did not seem to be a priority for those who flocked to McCovey Cove for the final time before a 10-game road trip.

Nevertheless, it's good to see Giants fans trying to make the most of the 2020 season, one in which no fans will be admitted to any MLB games as the league tries to mitigate the spread of coronavirus.

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Chadwick Tromp got text from Aruba Prime Minister after Giants call-up

Chadwick Tromp got text from Aruba Prime Minister after Giants call-up

Chadwick Tromp has had a whirlwind week. The Giants rookie made his MLB debut on Wednesday, got the first two hits of his MLB career on Friday and hammered his first big-league home run on Sunday. Tromp also made history in the process, as he became just the ninth player from the tiny island nation of Aruba to play in MLB.

The young catcher helped the Giants win an important home series against the Texas Rangers at Oracle Park. Following Sunday's loss in the series finale, Tromp discussed the reaction to his promotion to the Giants' active roster in Aruba.

"So when I got called up," Tromp told reporters via Zoom Sunday. "The Prime Minister of Aruba texted me, and also our Minister of Sports also texted me and congratulated me. That was nice, it makes me feel like I'm doing the right thing and moving in the right direction."

[BALK TALK: Listen to the latest episode]

Tromp's first MLB home run was an absolute rocket and came at a critical moment in the game, tying the game up in the bottom of the sixth inning.

He's been in the minor leagues since 2013, beginning his professional career within the Cincinnati Reds organization. Playing just 26 games in Triple-A last season with the Sacramento River Cats, Tromp impressed the Giants' staff enough in Summer Camp to earn a spot on the 2020 active roster once his sore hamstring healed up.

[RELATED: What you might've missed in Giants' 9-5 loss vs. Rangers]

Tromp discussed more of how the people back home in Aruba celebrated his MLB debut following Friday night's game.

"The community back home, they're going nuts, I'm going to be honest with you," Tromp said. "It's crazy, people are celebrating, the whole island is basically celebrating. I love it. We're such a small island and this is very important to them because it puts us on a bigger scale and shows the world that a small island can also do big things in life."

Aruba's population is just over 100,000 total. Along with fellow native and Boston Red Sox infielder Xander Bogaerts, Tromp is representing the island nation with pride in this bizarre 2020 season.