Giants

Joey Bart joining Giants in 2019 halted by farm director Kyle Haines

Joey Bart joining Giants in 2019 halted by farm director Kyle Haines

Giants top prospect Joey Bart looks like a franchise cornerstone, and he's proving it in his first big league camp with the Giants. 

The No. 2 pick in the 2018 MLB Draft is batting .368 with a home run, two doubles and seven RBI in 14 games. He's been so impressive, teammates awarded him the Barney Nugent Award, which is given annually to the player who performs best in his first big league camp.

One anonymous scout is so high on Bart he believes the catcher can join the Giants by midseason. But, Giants farm director Kyle Haines is here to halt the hype. 

"A lot of people want to see him in San Francisco sooner rather than later, but we want to make sure we put him in a position to best grow in the minors," Haines said to MLB.com

After hitting 13 home runs in Short-Season Single-A last year, Bart's power has followed him to the desert. While his defense nothing to scoff at, the Giants want him to grow behind the dish. 

"The big thing is just to get experience because the catching position is so demanding," Haines said. "There's so much to learn, especially all of the information. We're flooding players with data and technology, so just getting exposure to the pro game, exposure to data, exposure to game strategy is important."

Bart is expected to start the season in Advanced Single-A for the San Jose Giants. One of the selling points to have him there is to learn from manager Bill Hayes, who was a long-time catching coach. 

In San Jose, Bart will get experience catching fellow Giants top prospects Sean Hjelle and Jake Wong, who were drafted behind him in the second and third rounds respectively last summer. 

[RELATED: Joey Bart needs to improve this part of his game, Mike Krukow says]

The hype is real, and the numbers are there to back it up. Expecting the 22-year-old to be in San Francisco for Bruce Bochy's final season, however, is not.

Kevin Pillar emotional on Toronto return for first time since trade to Giants

Kevin Pillar emotional on Toronto return for first time since trade to Giants

Kevin Pillar started against the Blue Jays on Tuesday night at Rogers Centre in what he eventually admitted was an emotionally charged event for him.

Up until being traded to the Giants, Pillar spent his entire career as a member of the Toronto organization -- and they more than made him feel back at home.

The crowd had signs wishing him love, the Jays dedicated a video tribute to him, and the home crowd cheered when he went out on to the field -- even giving him a standing ovation. He made sure to wave and give his thanks to the fans who stuck by him all of those years. 

Following the Giants' 7-6 win, Pillar spoke to the media and talked about the many emotions going on:

"To come back and see the genuine appreciation that people have," Pillar told reporters. "The video tribute was a really nice touch."

[RELATED: Watch Pillar receive ovation from Jays fans]

Pillar found out about the tribute a few days prior, and he mentioned how he did his best to keep his composure, despite him being a very emotional guy.

Watch Kevin Pillar get ovation from Blue Jays fans in Toronto return

Watch Kevin Pillar get ovation from Blue Jays fans in Toronto return

Kevin Pillar never won any awards or championships during his seven years with the Blue Jays, but he definitely won over the hearts of Toronto fans with his highlight-reel catches.

So when the Giants center fielder went out to play defense in the bottom of the first inning Tuesday night, Blue Jays fans showed their appreciation for the 30-year-old.

It was a pretty emotional moment. We're sure Pillar was choking back tears as he watched the tribute video and tipped his cap to the fans.

The love for Pillar didn't stop there. When he came up for his first at-bat in the top of the second inning, the Blue Jays fans once again gave him a standing ovation.

But the cheering ended quickly as Pillar singled to left field and drove in Pablo Sandoval to give the Giants a 1-0 lead.

[RELATED: Pence finding home with Rangers]

Pillar and Crawford would later score on a Joe Panik double to right.

Not a bad homecoming for the Toronto fan favorite.