Arizona Fall League

Giants' Joey Bart showcased star potential in Arizona Fall League

Giants' Joey Bart showcased star potential in Arizona Fall League

Joey Bart entered the Arizona Fall League with one of the hottest bats in baseball, at any level. His stick stayed scorching hot in the desert, too, until an injury kept him out of the lineup. 

Bart, the Giants' top prospect, was named the Eastern League Player of the Week to end the regular season. He hit .538 with a homer, four doubles, a triple and six RBI in his final seven games of the regular season to end a 22-game stint in Double-A. 

Coming into the AFL, Bart had a chance to compare himself with some of the best young talent in all of baseball. All it took was one game to show the Giants could truly have a star in the near future. Bart went deep not once but twice in his Fall League debut. 

Before fracturing his hand for the second time this season when he was hit by a 96 mph fastball on his right thumb, Bart was perhaps the most impressive hitter in the desert. The No. 2 pick in the 2018 MLB Draft hit .333 with four homers and 10 RBI in 10 games. He had a .524 on-base percentage, .767 slugging percentage and an eye-popping 1.290 OPS. 

Despite missing nearly half the games, Bart led the Scottsdale Scorpions in homers and walks (nine) while finishing second in RBI. Before his injury, Bart won Player of the Week to open the league, was awarded the Championship Chains Hitter of the Week Award and was named to the Fall Stars Game.

Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi told NBC Sports Bay Area's Alex Pavlovic that Bart could start next season in Triple-A Sacramento. Zaidi also has expressed his desire for Bart to learn another position besides catcher. The AFL could have been the perfect time to experiment and add positional versatility to Bart's game, but that didn't happen due to his injury. 

Outside of Bart, however, Giants hitting prospects struggled in the Fall League. Fellow top prospect Heliot Ramos hit just .185 with one homer and no Giants prospect besides Bart hit over .200. 

[RELATED: How Giants' Webb learned on, off field during rookie season]

The only other bright spot for a handful of Giants prospects who continued their season in Arizona was pitcher Tristan Beck, who looks like a future big leaguer after being acquired from the Braves at the MLB trade deadline for Mark Melancon. Beck, a former Stanford standout, had a 3.63 ERA over six starts and struck out 23 batters in 22 1/3 innings. 

Bart was joined by four other top 100 prospects on his team alone in the AFL, along with former No. 1 overall draft pick Mickey Moniak. It didn't take long and it didn't end how he hoped, but Bart clearly stood out on quite the bright stage.

A's prospect Greg Deichmann shows off his power in Arizona Fall League

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USATSI

A's prospect Greg Deichmann shows off his power in Arizona Fall League

Greg Deichmann's power is what intrigued the A's so much ahead of the 2017 MLB Draft. The left-handed-hitting outfielder hit 19 homers as a junior at LSU and 11 the season before, prompting Oakland to grab him in the second round of the draft two years ago.

This year in the Arizona Fall League, Deichmann's power returned. 

Deichmann, 24, led all of the AFL with nine home runs over 23 games for the Mesa Solar Sox. He hit .256 with a .347 on-base percentage and .634 slugging percentage, good for an impressive .982 on-base percentage.

While Deichmann has light-tower power, his first long ball of the fall that had just enough juice to clear the wall is what truly stood out to him. 

"It was a cutter that I hit to left-center," Deichmann said to MiLB.com's Sam Dykstra. "It was a reminder to me that I'm locked in. When I can go the other way with authority, I know I'm right. And it also showed me that I can do that type of homer in this league."

Deichmann started off his minor league career strong, belting eight homers with a .915 OPS in 46 games at Class A Short Season Vermont after the A's selected him in 2017 draft, but took a tumble a year later. As he dealt with hand injuries, the powerful outfielder struggled mightily in the hitter-friendly California League. 

Over 47 games with the Stockton Ports, Deichmann batted a lowly .199 with six homers. 

"It wasn't until the offseason that I could get my swing right, and really, it wasn't even until spring training when I started to find it again," Deichmann said to Dykstra. "It was about three months of the year lost in Stockton, and I had to jump back into the spring at a full go without many at-bats (166), all broken up."

[RELATED: Why shortstop Puason ranks as A's No. 6 top prospect] 

Despite the down year, the A's still promoted Deichmann to Double-A Midland last season. He didn't exactly dominate with a .219 batting average and .675 OPS, but Deichmann did play a career-high 80 games -- though he missed two months with a Grade 3 AC joint sprain -- and hit a career-high 11 homers. 

A fully healthy Deichmann will be a name to watch next year as he showed in the AFL. His key is staying on the field, and when he does, get ready for a souvenir in the outfield bleachers.

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Watch Giants prospect Jacob Heyward get ejected on call by robot umpire

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AP

Watch Giants prospect Jacob Heyward get ejected on call by robot umpire

Players getting angry towards an umpire is synonymous with baseball. And during the Arizona Fall League, it's no different ... even if you're arguing with technology.

During a Tuesday fall league game, Giants outfield prospect Jacob Heyward, the younger brother of Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward, was ejected after striking out on a call made by a robot umpire:

Looks low and inside, right?

But if you scroll to the next photo of the Instagram post, the pitch tracker shows it was, indeed, a strike. 

So who (or what) was Heyward yelling at if he was unsatisfied with the call? Heyward appears to claim his displeasure wasn't with the home plate umpire -- who simply was relaying the call from a computer system -- but he was ejected nevertheless.

This year, the automated ball-strike system (ABS) has been implemented to use at all games being played at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale, Ariz.

The independent Atlantic League first tested the technology, which includes a real-life umpire still manning duties behind the plate. The ump receives communications via an earpiece that's connected to an iPhone, and then relays the call from the TrackMan computer system.

[RELATED: Giants infielder Dubon engaged at Disneyland Paris]

Yes, it's complicated.

Despite Heyward's reaction, the data shows the pitch was a strike. And even if this is the case from now on (MLB will sometimes adopt these "experiments" down the line) the human element of emotions still will always come into play.