Joey Bart wins Giants award in top prospect's first spring training

Joey Bart wins Giants award in top prospect's first spring training

SAN FRANCISCO -- The surprise was not that Joey Bart won the Barney Nugent Award, it was that he was still around to accept it in person. 

Bart, the organization's top prospect, is still in camp as a first-timer as the Giants look to get him as much experience behind the plate as they can before he joins High-A San Jose for the start of the year. In his first spring, Bart has seven hits in 17 at-bats (.412), with a homer, two doubles and a team-leading seven RBI.

He drove in three runs in the ninth inning against the Dodgers last week on a bases-loaded double off the right field wall. 

The Barney Nugent Award is given annually to the player who performs best in his first big league camp. In addition to the on-field work, Bart has impressed staff members and fellow players with a quiet dedication to getting better every day, and he has tried to pick up as much as he can from Buster Posey, the man he may one day replace. 

"I thought we had some guys that were here that did a really nice job as well, some guys that are down in the Minor League side," Bart said, according to "For these guys to vote for me, it means a lot."

The Giants expect Bart to start the season in High-A, but last year's No. 2 pick should move on to Double-A Richmond relatively quickly. It would not at all be a surprise to see Bart finish his minor league season in Triple-A, and if he continues to show the approach that he has over the last month, he could put himself in consideration for a September call-up.

[RELATED: Why one scout believes Bart could join Giants by midseason]

For now, he'll get a few more days to soak up knowledge in camp. The Giants have viewed that as more beneficial than a few extra at-bats on the minor league side. 

Past winners of the Barney Nugent Award, formerly known as the Harry K. Jordan Award, include Tim Lincecum, Brandon Belt and Matt Duffy. 

Tim Flannery finds inspiration after tragedies, releases new album


Tim Flannery finds inspiration after tragedies, releases new album

SAN FRANCISCO -- Tim Flannery has released 14 albums, pulling inspiration from all kinds of sources. Sometimes he would write about the music scene in a certain city, or a character he met during his decades on the road playing and coaching baseball.

But the album Flannery will release Saturday has special meaning. Flannery wrote it after dealing with two different kinds of emotions. 

“This album really started probably out of tragedy,” he said this week.

Last January, Rob Picciolo, a longtime big league coach, and Kevin Towers, the former general manager of the Padres, passed away in the span of a few weeks. Flannery, the former Giants third base coach and current NBC Sports Bay Area analyst, found himself attending the funeral of a close friend on back-to-back weekends. He wrote a song about it called “The Light.”

Later in the year, Flannery’s son, Danny, called him and told him he would be going to rehab in Oregon. That experience was turned into “Ghost Town,” the second track on the album, also called “The Light.”

“That whole episode of dealing with it and even when he got out, some of the things he was thinking and saying about not wanting to go back to his ghost town again, that’s easy for me to relate to,” Flannery said. “I’m sure everybody has their ghost town. The next thing I know I’m writing another song out of it, and something else and something else, and a year and a half later, you’re playing these songs at shows.”

Flannery said he didn’t expect to make another album after his previous one, but he never stops playing, and he found new stories to tell. He said his son was happy that the story was being told through music. 

“He said, ‘I think we can help other people deal with things.’ He’s all-in,” Flannery said. “He’s a changed man and asked me to tell the story.”

Tim Flannery & The Lunatic Fringe will debut the album on Saturday at the Fox Theatre in Redwood City. All proceeds will go to the non-profit Love Harder Project for anti-bullying and anti-violence programs across the country.

“This record is for me like a burning light in a world that has gone dark at times,” Flannery said. “It’s gone dark for different people, for different reasons, but this record is a record of hope, a record of love and light.”

Cameron Maybin, on Giants this spring, to visit Oracle Park with Yankees

Cameron Maybin, on Giants this spring, to visit Oracle Park with Yankees

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants will face two Yankees lefties this weekend at Oracle Park, and for most of this spring, their plan would have called for Cameron Maybin to start those games. If Maybin is in the lineup this weekend, it'll be for the visitors. 

Maybin, a non-roster invitee in Giants camp this spring, was traded to the desperate Yankees on Thursday morning and added to their big league roster. The Yankees sent cash considerations to the Indians, who stashed Maybin at Triple-A after he was let go by the Giants. 

The Yankees turned to Maybin because of unbelievable injury issues in their outfield. Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge and Aaron Hicks are on the DL, and Clint Frazier -- who hit six homers in fill-in duty -- joined them after spraining his left ankle earlier this season. Frazier became the 15th Yankee to hit the injured list (by comparison, the Giants have just one, the rehabbing Johnny Cueto).

The Giants at one point thought Maybin could form a platoon with Steven Duggar or provide depth in their corner outfield spots. But he had a poor spring on and off the field, and ultimately the front office started the year by taking a look at Michael Reed in that spot. It is now Kevin Pillar who provides the right-handed balance and plays center field.

[RELATED: What we learned from Giants' 4-4 road trip]

The Giants, it's fair to say, are happy with how this all turned out. 

Maybin played 14 games in Triple-A for the Indians, hitting .216 with three doubles and 13 walks.