Two years after making catcher Joey Bart the 2nd overall pick in the draft, the Giants went after another catcher.
The San Francisco Giants took catcher Patrick Bailey with the 13th overall pick of the 2020 draft. The pick was a surprise for many, as that was not the catcher many had expected. Many were expecting the Giants to take high school catcher Tyler Soderstrom, who was expected to move elsewhere on the diamond and had family ties to the Giants. The pick left even the hosts on MLB Network’s show surprised.
Bailey hit .302/.411/.568 over three seasons at North Carolina State, with a .296/.466/.685 batting line in 17 games in 2020 before the season ended due to Coronavirus. Bailey is a switch hitter with more power than hitting ability, with some fans loving a video of his bat flip while with the Wolfpack.
Bailey’s hitting ability was more of a question, with Baseball America quoting him as having “grades ranging from below-average to average on his future hit tool”. Bailey does have a good eye at the plate, posting nearly as many walks as strikeouts in each of his three college seasons, but also has issues with swing and miss at the pitches he does swing at.
However, Bailey was better known for his defensive ability as a catcher. He is a plus defender and has a plus throwing arm, with the ability to pick pitches out of the dirt and throw out runners on the basepaths. He also calls his own games in college, and drew praise for his leadership ability in the dugout.
At this point, it’s unclear what the Giants plans are between Bailey and Bart as catchers. There is speculation that the Giants may be planning to switch them out at catcher at other positions, including potentially as DH if that comes to the National League. Others just say things will be figured out in the future. As of this writing, there were no comments by the Giants on the topic.
The Giants will draft again on Day 2 of the draft on Thursday, with the #49 overall pick in the second round, and again with picks #67 and #68 in the compensation round, picks the Giants received for losing free agents Will Smith and Madison Bumgarner.