There are hot starts, and then there's what Joey Bart did in his first game in the Arizona Fall League.
The Giants' top prospect hit not one, but two homers in the Scottsdale Scorpions' 5-4 win Wednesday night over the Mesa Solar Sox. Batting fourth as the team's starting catcher, Bart took the second pitch he saw on the night deep over the left-center field wall off Tigers No. 20 prospect Anthony Castro for a two-run shot.
Leading off the top of the seventh inning, Bart hit his second homer, a solo shot off rising A's prospect Jesus Zambrano, who went 5-1 with a 1.47 ERA between High A Stockton and Double-A Midland this season. And he knew it was gone right away, too.
Bart ended the night 2-for-4 with two homers, three RBI and two runs scored in the win.
“I feel like a lot of people gave up on me when I went down with that injury," Bart said to MLB.com's William Boor after the win. "Yeah, I’m here to make up for lost time, but also here to compete and get better and prove to myself and prove to everyone else that my season’s not over.”
Bart missed nearly two months after breaking his hand at the plate with the San Jose Giants in High A. He started off slow upon his return, but then hit .289 with six long balls in July. Bart followed that up with a great August after he was called up to Double-A Richmond early in the month.
The Giants' top pick from the 2018 MLB Draft ended the season the best way possible by earning Eastern League Player of the Week while batting .536 with a homer, four doubles, a triple and six RBI in his final seven games. Clearly, he brought his hot stick with him to the desert.
To top it off, Bart threw out two base runners attempting to steal.
Prior to the AFL, MLB.com's Jim Callis predicted Bart, who's the No. 20 prospect in all of baseball, would end next year in the top 10. His first audition in the Fall League was quite the way to prove Callis very well could be correct.