When is Bart Coming Up?

This remains a big topic, of course.  When will the Giants call up their future catcher…well, maybe future catcher?

For much of the summer camp, it was nothing but praise about how Joey Bart was doing, his power, and the way people felt about him.  Everyone was agreed he wouldn’t start the season with the big league club, but the general consensus was that was a function of service time, and they’d hold him down a little bit because they wanted to delay free agency and arbitration.  But that would be only for a week in this shortened season.  And yet, as that threshold passed, and the Giants DFA’d a catcher (Rob Brantly)…no Joey Bart.

And now, this:

So what’s going on?

Well, it’s not very clear.  Andy Baggarly wrote on The Athletic about the pros and cons of bringing Bart up, but that’s all said without knowing exactly what the team’s reasoning is.

But what is known is that the Giants are finally making good on their word of playing Bart somewhere other than catching.  This, of course, is something that was brought up after catcher Patrick Bailey was drafted in the first round this year that they apparently always wanted, despite having never had Bart play or practice at another position in his pro career, nor any spring training, and not even at the Summer Camp after the draft.

But he is finally taking grounders at the Alternate Training Site in Sacramento, although as of last Thursday he hadn’t done it in a scrimmage.  And scrimmages, of course, are not real game experience.  There’s a significant chance the first time Joey Bart plays a competitive game at any pro level other than catcher is in the Major Leagues.

And so, perhaps that is the reason Bart isn’t coming up.  

In 2010, the prevailing desire was for Buster Posey to be called up sooner or later.  Sabean told everyone in March he needed more seasoning, more at-bats, more time behind the plate in the minors.  That was the company line in April.  And most of May.  Right up until he was called up.  That was Sabean’s version of gamemanship.

Is it Zaidi’s?  Maybe.  We will see.

Two Catchers, One Photo

Just a couple first rounders. Anybody know 'em?😏

Posted by Sacramento River Cats on Friday, July 31, 2020

From the Sacramento River Cats Facebook Page.  Everyone is praising how these two are working together.  We shall see if it works with them together.

Giants Get Prospect Pitcher Jordan Humphreys

On Sunday, the Giants made a trade with the New York Mets, sending speedster Billy Hamilton to the Big Apple in exchange for minor league RHP Jordan Humphreys.

Humphreys has been a bit of a strikeouts pitcher despite having low-to-mid 90’s fastball velocity, but he’s another pitcher who has made it work with a high spin rate.  However, his career was sidelined in 2017 with Tommy John surgery, and after some nerve complications, he made his way back late in 2019.  He had an impressive Arizona Fall League, where he allowed one run in 11.2 innings over four games.  That good AFL stint prompted the Mets to put him on their 40-man roster to protect him from the Rule 5 draft, which led to the opportunity for the Giants to pick him up.

The Mets’ Nick Marisnick had suffered a hamstring injury, necessitating them to look for center field depth, and they had to DFA Humphreys in a roster crunch move to make room for a quick replacement.  But Hamilton himself was crunched out of the Giants outfield with even more prospects behind him, and he was a good fit for the Mets.  So with Humphreys likely gone anyways, they made the trade.

Humphreys’ fastball was averaging a little over 92 MPH in the AFL season, topping out at 95, which looks good for his comeback.  Previously, he’d been reported to have thrown a high-spin curveball, but he didn’t use it in the AFL.  Instead, he had added a slider in the low 80’s, which is also above-average.  If he also works the curveball back into his repertoire, that gives him four pitches to work with (he also has an average changeup).

It’s unclear what Humphreys’ role will be for the Giants going forward, whether they’ll look to move him back to a starting role or shift him to relief after his surgery.  Humphreys was a full-time starter before his injury, and is project to have back-of-the-rotation potential.  But he has never pitched above the High-A level, so he likely still has some development to go, and his spot on the Giants’ 40-man roster will be one he’ll have to prove he deserves in the high-churn environment that Farhan Zaidi has.

He was the number 14 prospect in the Mets system as rated by both MLB Pipeline and Baseball America.  Pipeline initially has put Humphreys as the #23 prospect in the Giants system.

However, he ends up replacing another right-handed pitching prospect in the system…

Dany Jiménez Designated For Assignment

The Giants designated Dany Jiménez for assignment, and over the weekend he was returned to the Toronto Blue Jays.

It’s a disappointing result and the second Rule 5 draft pick in the Zaidi regime to be DFA’d after just a couple of weeks into a season.  (Travis Bergen, a Rule 5 draft pick in 2018 by Zaidi, was also returned but lasted until Mid-August in 2019.)  Jiménez was picked with hopes for high velocity and strikeouts despite control issues.  He came with control issues but not the high velocity.  He had 1.1 innings in two starts, allowing one run on one hit and three walks while striking out one.

Jiménez had been listed by Baseball America as their #30 prospect before the season, but he did not survive the publication’s re-ranking, as days before he was DFA’d…

Baseball America releases Mid-Season Top 30 Prospects list

The vaunted publication Baseball America re-ranked their prospects for the midseason in this strange 2020, and for the Giants, this mostly meant adding the 2020 draft picks.

Four of the Giants 2020 draft picks were added to the list.  First round pick Patrick Bailey was slotted in at the #6 spot in the rankings, right behind Alexander Canario, and ahead of Luis Toribio.  Bailey was invited to the team’s Summer Camp to work with the team and other top prospects, including fellow catcher and #2 prospect Joey Bart.

Third round pick Kyle Harrison, drafted out of Concord’s De La Salle High School, was put into the #15 ranking, behind Logan Wyatt and just ahead of Tristan Beck.  post-second round supplemental pick Nick Swiney was put into the #22 spot, and second round pick Casey Schmitt was slotted in at #25.

The final change was a little more surprising.  Pitcher Camilo Doval was put into the #30 spot.  Doval, 23, hasn’t pitched above High-A, but was one of the young prospects added to the 60-man player pool by the Giants, and one of the only pitching prospects to be added to the pool.  Doval has a big arm, but has bouts of inconsistency.  He had a 3.83 ERA in 45 games at San Jose, giving up 24 earned runs in 56.1 innings of relief pitching.  However, nine of those runs happened in just two appearances.

Of course, the lack of other changes were because there have been almost no games involving prospects, in the minors or majors.  That’s been especially true for the Giants, whose most impressive prospect so far for the team has been Caleb Baragar, who wasn’t ranked at all.  The only other ranked players on BA’s list who have gotten time were Jaylin Davis (18) and Mauricio Dubón (11).  And the former ranked prospect Dany Jiménez.

One note I’ll throw in is that Baseball America made an interesting statement in the section for “System Weaknesses”.  I think that almost any prospect follower of the Giants might first think of starting pitching.  But Baseball America said that the Giants have Top 30 prospects at every position, and instead they noted that the Giants top corner-infield prospects, 3B Luis Toribio and 1B Logan Wyatt, are not the usual stereotypical mashers at their positions.

I mean, they aren’t wrong, though I don’t think either are bad prospects, just not stereotypical.  I still think the lack of depth at starting pitching, and the lack of top-shelf prospects who could be starters, is a bigger deal.  What about you?

Heliot Ramos is back in camp

This report came out at the end of last week.  We still don’t know what the infection was, but this quick return makes it seem like the infection wasn’t a serious thing.  It’s nothing but good news, but hopefully we’ll hear good things about him soon.

Rob Brantly clears waivers

A veteran like Brantly usually won’t get much attention in the Prospect Round-Up.  but there’s one point that Brantly’s move to the Alternate Training Site does make.

The Wrap-Up

Other than Bart, there was a certain other prospect everyone else was talking about this week.

So, here’s a little Marco Luciano reading list to keep you busy this week.  Enjoy!