Patrick Bailey, C
DOB: May 29, 1999
BATS: B / THROWS: R
ACQUIRED: Drafted 1st Round (#13), 2020
LAST LEVEL: N/A
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GiantFutures Ranks: #2 Catcher
Performance: Drafted in 2020, Bailey did not get a chance to get into any pro games. He was invited to the Giants alternate site, and earned praise for his work, working alongside Joey Bart both at catcher and at first base.
Bailey hit .296/.466/.685 for 2020 at NC State for his final season, though it only lasted 17 games. He showed off his great approached, with 18 strikeouts against 17 walks in 73 plate appearances, following up his first season with 43 strikeouts against 41 walks in 282 plate appearances.
Strengths and Weaknesses: Bailey came out in the draft with the reputation of being an elite defender even coming out of high school, and continued that reputation in college, with his ability to block balls in the dirt and call his own game, an uncommon thing in college. The defense at the plate is going to be a carrying tool as a catcher.
At the plate, Bailey is a rare switch-hitter as a catcher, and he shows raw pop from both sides of the plate. His biggest standout tool is his approach at the plate, often drawing as many walks as strikeouts. Bailey did have struggles with wood bats as a part of Team USA over the summer, so it’ll be interesting to see his first season as a pro and how he adjusts.
2021 Outlook: Bailey, like most of the Giants 2020 draft picks, got to work at the Giants’ alternate site alongside several major leaguers and Joey Bart, who inescapably will be who Bailey is talked about and compared with his entire minor league career. He’ll start in 2021 in Single-A, but it’s a 50-50 chance whether it’ll be in Low-A San Jose or High-A Eugene, and will heavily depend on his spring performance. His performance this year will be one of the most interesting to watch in 2021.
Future Profile: Catchers are very hard to predict, since they have different expectations and career trajectories. If you have defense, you will make it, and Bailey having that and a good switch-hitting profile looks good. But there are questions about how good the contact and power skills come through, and that’s the difference between a good catcher and a great one. There are rumbles about Bailey playing first base, sharing time there and at catcher alongside Joey Bart. This move seriously downgrades his potential, however, since much of his strength is in defense, and he’d not be a valuable offensive first baseman.