Joey Bart was on the fast track to the big leagues. After fracturing his left hand Monday night in a San Jose Giants game, it appears his road to San Francisco will have to wait until 2020.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Wednesday morning he doesn't expect Bart to be in the majors at any point this season.
"I would not expect him to be up this year," Bochy said on the Murph & Mac Show. "... It's (the injury) bad news for us and him. He was playing so well. What we have to be careful of is we don't rush this kid back after breaking his hand. He'll be in a cast for a couple of weeks, and then we have to make sure he's ready.
"Don't rush him back. Let him take his time. We can't put him on too fast of a pace to get him up here."
Bart was hit by a pitch in the fourth inning against the Stockton Ports on a night where wet weather delayed the start of the game by an hour. He tried to stay in the game, but after being looked at by the team trainer it was deemed he needed to come out. The Giants' top prospect will now miss the next four-to-six weeks with a fractured second metacarpal.
“He was playing well,” Bochy said to reporters on Tuesday. “He’ll be back. You hate to see it, though. He’s going to miss some time and it’s a minor setback. You just hate to see it for the kid. He had a great spring and was off to a great start.”
Bart, the No. 2 pick in the 2018 MLB Draft, spent spring training in big league camp and showed he belonged with major leaguers. The catcher hit .350 with one home run, seven RBI and a .981 OPS over 15 spring games. He also won the Barney Nugent Award, which is given annually to the player who performs best in his first big league camp.
His offense followed him to San Jose, the Giants' High-A affiliate, before the injury. Through 10 games, Bart was batting .270 with two home runs, eight RBI and an .882 OPS. Bochy took notice to Bart's hot start, but now everyone will have to take a step back.
“There’s a lot of baseball left,” Bochy said on Tuesday. “He’ll have a lot of baseball left to be played.”