Like many 11-year-olds, Patrick Bailey had a dream of playing in the big leagues one day. But he went further than most would to try and make it a reality.
One of the many traits the Giants love about their first-round pick is his ability to hit from both sides, and after the draft, Bailey revealed that he has never forgotten exactly when and where he picked up the skill. When he was 11, his coach, Houston Summers, explained to him that the second-fastest way to get to the big leagues was to be a switch-hitting catcher.
Well, what about the fastest way?
"He said a left-handed pitcher," Bailey recalled. "I don't know how accurate he is."
It sounds about right, but that path certainly wasn't happening for Bailey, a natural righty. Instead, he picked up switch-hitting, adding to a skill set that ultimately would get him taken 13th overall.
"I was like, well, I want to play in the big leagues one day and I want to be there quick," Bailey said. "So I might as well try to hit left-handed. It started from there and the rest is history."
Bailey now displays power from the left side, and as team officials talked about the pick last week, they often came back to his versatility at the plate.
"He's a switch-hitting catcher who's a plus catch-and-throw guy, but also has really strong contact in the zone and some developing power that we're really excited about from both sides of the plate," general manager Scott Harris said on KNBR.
The ability to provide production from the left side could make Bailey a nice fit alongside Joey Bart one day. The two also share a trait that stood out as Giants evaluators decided to take a catcher in the first round for the second time in three years.
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When the team took Bart second overall in 2018, manager Bruce Bochy -- a former catcher himself -- raved about the fact that Bart was calling his own games at Georgia Tech. Bailey did the same at NC State, and he actually has been calling games since he was a freshman at Wesleyan Christian Academy, where he won three state titles.
The Giants hope Bailey can move quickly once minor league ball resumes. He may at times be slowed by having to have two different swings in tune, but that'll be made up for by the fact that he is so far advanced defensively.
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"I think it's extremely important," scouting director Michael Holmes said of Bailey calling his own games. "That sometimes can be a hard transition for players from the collegiate level to the pro game and this is a guy that's been doing it for some time. He called pitches for Team USA and obviously we know the type of pitching that's in this draft and the guys that were on that team.
"I think it's definitely something to think about. I think it's something to evaluate. From where he is, to be able to run a game from behind home plate is definitely something that we really liked about him."