HomeTrending MLB NewsChange of scenery may be what Joey Bart needs

Change of scenery may be what Joey Bart needs

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 This is not how it was supposed to end for Joey Bart and the Giants.

Bart was the heir apparent to catcher Buster Posey. He was the second overall selection in the 2018 MLB Draft and had been considered the top catcher in his draft class. Bart was the Giants’ top prospect in 2019, with MLB.com lauding his power potential and bat speed. He was expected to be a presence behind the plate as well due to his agility and strong arm.

That never panned out, however.. Bart was designated for assignment on Sunday, giving the Giants a week to either pass him through waivers or trade him. That trade happened Tuesday night as Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area reported that Bart was traded to the Pirates for pitcher Austin Strickland.

The Pirates need help behind the plate. Endy Rodriguez, the Pirates’ expected starting catcher, will miss the 2024 season after elbow surgery. Catcher Yasmani Grandal, signed to replace Rodriguez, is on the injured list due to plantar fasciitis in his left foot. This leaves Henry Davis and Jason Delay as the only options at catcher, and the Pirates have been using Davis at other positions. Alex Stumpf from MLB.com reported that Delay is heading to the IL as well, making the Pirates’ catching depth even thinner.

Bart has not lived up to expectations thus far in the majors. He has produced a .219/.288/.335 batting line in his 503 plate appearances over parts of four seasons, hitting 11 homers and 16 doubles. Bart has struggled to make contact and draw walks, striking out in 35.4% of his plate appearances. When he does make contact, he has not done much as he has an 86.8 MPH average exit velocity.

He now has a chance to start over. The past expectations that Bart would be the next superstar catcher are long in the past. The pressure to replace Posey is gone. He is with a new organization, a team that will give him a chance. Now that he does not have that pressure, Bart may finally be able to live up to expectations.

Sometimes, a player just needs a change of scenery. The Pirates could be what Joey Bart needed.

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