For Giants fans, what stood out most about Joey Bart's first big league hit last season was just how loud it was. Bart made his debut on August 20, and in the sixth inning he hit a 109.5 mph rocket down the left field line for a stand-up double.
During an appearance on MLB Network this week, Bart said there's something else that comes to mind when he recalls that moment. He grew up near Atlanta, and the double came off Angels reliever Julio Teheran, who spent the first nine seasons of his career with the Braves, making two All-Star teams and starting on opening day six straight years through 2019.
"Being from the Atlanta area, obviously he's been a Brave for so long and I've watched him for so long. I was like, if I get my first hit off Teheran I know everyone back home will be fired up," Bart said. "I got a good pitch to hit there and took advantage of it. That's really the only unique thing about it. They started a lefty but then once Teheran came in I knew -- I was like, alright, I've got to capitalize off the Atlanta guy that I've been watching for so long."
It feels like Teheran has been around forever, but he's actually only 29 years old. He broke into the big leagues as a 20-year-old in 2011, and somewhere nearby, a 14-year-old Bart may have been watching that game. Teheran had a 3.67 ERA with the Braves but had a rough first season with the Angels. He's a free agent and reportedly will throw in front of scouts next Tuesday in Miami as he tries to find a home for 2021.
Bart is likely to start this upcoming year back in Triple-A, with the Giants hoping he can get daily reps at the plate and behind it before forcing his way back to the big leagues. Bart made 33 appearances as a rookie and this week took part in MLB's Rookie Career Development Program, an annual event that teaches top prospects about handling their careers on and off the field.
"I'm just excited to listen and write stuff down, learn from guys like CC (Sabathia) and (Francisco) Lindor," Bart told MLB Network. "These guys obviously are so good and have been doing this for a long time and are very successful, so whatever they say I'm just going to be all ears, listening in and trying to take some things with me."