With the second overall pick in the 2018 MLB Draft, the Giants selected Georgia Tech catcher Joey Bart, MLB.com’s No. 6 overall prospect.
Bart, a native of Buford, Georgia, clocks in a 6-foot-3, 225 pounds. The right-hander is known as a power hitter, leading the ACC with 16 home runs to go with a .359 average, 12 doubles and a 1.103 OPS. He has also played in 144 games in his three seasons with the Yellow Jackets.
The Giants were one Pablo Sandoval home run from earning the first pick of the draft, but with their win in the final game of the 2017 season that honor was bestowed on the Detroit Tigers who selected right-handed pitcher Casey Mize of Auburn.
Bart was the highest draft pick the Giants have had since selecting Will Clark with the second overall pick in 1985, and it’s the highest draft selection out of Georgia Tech ever.
Bart said he’s honored to have San Francisco believe in him:
“I knew this year was my year and I was finally gonna put it all together. It couldn’t have worked out any better. I’m just so glad to be in the position I am.”
Manager Bruce Bochy was pleased with the team’s first round selection. As a former catcher himself, Bochy appreciated the 21-year-old’s size, power and intangibles:
“He’s had a big year on both sides of the ball, and if you look at him he’s a man—a good sized “kid”— that’s really developed his game and is playing well.”
Bart was named ACC Defensive Player of the year and ACC Player of the Year in 2018. He had a .992 fielding percentage in his junior season.
The Giants have not announced where in their system Bart will start, but Bochy said that someone with Bart’s tools could expected to be on a “fast pace.”
One might speculate that pace could potentially coincide with a time down the road when another catcher and fellow-Georgian, to whom Bart has been compared, passes the torch and transitions to first base.
Of the man he may succeed on the “throne” Bart said:
“Buster Posey’s one of the best in the game so whenever he’s done hopefully I can learn some things from him and go forward from there.”
He said he grew up looking up to both Bryce Harper and Posey — back when he was a cool catcher on the cover of Sports Illustrated and the Giants All-Star:
“I’ve liked Buster Posey forever — he’s from south Georgia, we play the same position, kind of the same height, we hit for a little power — he’s unbelievable. Those comparisons are cool, but that guys on a whole ‘nother level. Hopefully I’ll be able to get there.”
Like Posey, Bart was originally drafted out of high school, Bart by the Tampa Bay Rays, Posey by the Los Angeles Angels, but both draftees opted to attend college.
When asked if Bart had taken a ride aboard San Francisco’s BART transit system when he visited the Giants brass last week, he laughed:
“I did not, we took an Uber to the field and back.”
When he found out what it was his first thought was:
“Wow this might be meant to be.”
The Giants expect to make their second pick in Monday’s draft sometime after 7 p.m.