Many people were puzzled when the Giants took catcher Patrick Bailey with the No. 13 pick in the 2020 MLB Draft. Why would they need Bailey two years after selecting catcher Joey Bart with the second pick in the draft?
One of the first people president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi wanted to understand the decision was Bart himself. He revealed Friday on KNBR's "Tolbert, Krueger & Brooks" show that he called Bart after the draft to explain the pick.
“We expect Joey to have a great career with us,” Zaidi said. “One of the things that came up in our conversation is this is not at all a reflection of how we feel about you, we’re as confident and excited about you as we’ve ever been.
“It wasn’t that long ago he was lighting it up in spring training, looked like one of the best catchers in the game even today.”
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Bart, 23, hit .438 with two homers in nine games for the Giants in spring training. The former top pick looked like a future star at the plate. And the Giants still believe he can be exactly that even after picking Bailey.
Zaidi also knew Bart already was familiar with Bailey. The two played against each other two years ago when Bailey (North Carolina State) beat Bart (Georgia Tech) in two out of three games.
“[Bart is] an ACC catcher, just like Patrick is, so he knows the abilities that he brings to the table. We’ve talked about it a lot -- we want talented players, we want guys who can potentially move around to different positions and give the manager different options,” Zaidi said.
Despite already having Buster Posey in the bigs and Bart in the minors, Zaidi also emphasized the Giants' lack of catching depth. Aramis Garcia was slated to be Posey's backup, but he will miss the entire season after undergoing hip surgery. That leaves San Francisco with Tyler Heineman and Rob Brantly battling to backup Posey.
In the minors, outside of Bart, Ricardo Genoves (No. 27), is the only other catcher in the Giants' top prospects.
“One of the things I said to Joey is we reached such a point of comfort with Buster [Posey] at the major league level and with Joey being in the system that we probably neglected the catching position, and it was actually a pretty thin position for us in the organization beyond those two. When you actually look at it and you think about the totality of our depth at that position, it was a little light. That’s why we felt comfortable doing it.
"Plenty of things can happen. It’s a grind getting through the minor leagues, and Joey’s made it look easy, but it’s not that way for everybody. These things have a tendency to work themselves out. You’ve never heard of an organization that has too much catching, and I don’t anticipate that being an issue for us.”
Zaidi and the Giants improved a position in the farm system by drafting Bailey, and just as important, made sure one of their future franchise cornerstones in Bart understands his value to the team.