Patrick Bailey, C
BATS: S / THROWS: R
ACQUIRED: Drafted 2020, 1st Round
LAST LEVEL: High-A
VOLATILITY: Very High
GiantFutures 2023 Ranks: #19 Overall, #1 Catcher
2022 Performance: Patrick Bailey returned to High-A Eugene, and he had his struggles for the second straight season. Bailey finished the season with a batting line of .225/.342/.419 over 83 games, with 14 doubles, one triple, and 12 home runs, and 49 walks to 72 strikeouts. Unlike 2021, Bailey was mostly healthy, with just a week he spent on the injured list in June.
Bailey’s biggest struggles came at the plate, as he was not a very effective switch-hitter this season. Bailey hit just .131/.239/.213 in 61 at-bats as a right-handed hitter, while he had a more respectable line of .252/.370/.481 in 206 at-bats as a left-handed hitter. He struggled for much of the season, though he did have his best month on August, batting .281/.390/.563 as the season wound down.
Defensively, Bailey was the defender he was expected to be. Across 72 games, he had a .989 fielding percentage, and caught 29 of 97 baserunners (29.9%), with just 12 passed balls in 606.2 innings.
Strengths and Weaknesses: Bailey was drafted on his defense, and that continues to be his calling card. When he’s on his game, he is very good at receiving and makes pitchers look good. His arm is not the strongest in the system, but his mechanics are some of the best, which helps him play off having an aggressive attitude when it comes to making throws. He can get a bit sloppy or passive at times, but his concentration ebbs and flows.
Much was made of Bailey’s switch-hitting when he was drafted as well, but that has not carried well. Bailey’s ability as a right-handed hitter has regressed, and he might need to give up switch-hitting. When he’s at his most effective, he can have a high batting average and get some home runs, but how he’ll deal with left-handed pitchers int he future is yet to be seen.
2023 Outlook: After two years in Eugene, it’s time for Bailey to see what he can do at Double-A. It’s going to be a very big test for him offensively, but his defense should keep him afloat.
Future Profile: At his best offensively, Bailey is a plus offensive catcher to go with his defense. But he hasn’t been at his best at any sustained point in his pro career yet. At this point, a platoon catcher role looks very plausible, with his left-handed hitting strength being enough to get the majority of catching at-bats somewhere.