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.
Joey Bart is pretty good at baseball. The #SFGiants prospect gives Scottsdale an early lead with a two-run homer in his first at-bat of the @MLBazFallLeague. pic.twitter.com/tZKoTQzWEr— William Boor (@wboor) September 19, 2019
I promise this is a new video ... #SFGiants prospect Joey Bart just hit his second homer of the night. pic.twitter.com/JmrB0L3Usc— William Boor (@wboor) September 19, 2019
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.
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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.