Giants prospect Joey Bart out with another significant injury after hit by pitch

SF Giants prospect Joey Bart fractured his thumb during an Arizona Fall League game on Tuesday

Joey Bart #67 of the San Francisco Giants poses during the Giants Photo Day on February 21, 2019 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images)
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SAN FRANCISCO — Top Giants prospect Joey Bart suffered a non-displaced fracture of his right thumb on Tuesday night while playing in an Arizona Fall League game for the Scottsdale Scorpions.

The No. 1 prospect in the Giants’ farm system and No. 2 overall draft pick in 2018 was hit in the right hand by a fastball thrown by Pirates prospect Blake Cederlind in Tuesday’s game and is likely to miss the rest of the Fall League schedule due to the injury.

Team specialist Dr. Donald Sheridan examined Bart on Wednesday, said he won’t need surgery and should fully recover in 4-6 weeks.

The injury is the second Bart has dealt with this year as he also missed six weeks during his time with High-A San Jose due to a fractured second metacarpal in his left hand that was also the result of a hit by pitch.

Bart was recently named to the Arizona Fall League’s Fall Stars Game, but will not have the chance to play in a showcase of the league’s top prospects. The Georgia Tech product was 10 for 30 with four home runs and a 1.290 OPS, which led all players with at least five at-bats.

Bart’s latest hand injury is his third in the last four years as he also missed the final 11 games of his sophomore season at Georgia Tech in 2017 due to a broken thumb. It’s unclear whether it was a right or left thumb injury that Bart dealt with in college, but the power-hitting catcher hasn’t had an easy time staying healthy.

After missing extended time during the regular season, Bart struggled to consistently hit for power upon returning to the San Jose Giants. A late-season hot streak earned the catcher a promotion to Double-A Richmond, where he hit four home runs and posted a .912 OPS in 22 games in the pitcher-friendly Eastern League.

The injury will likely prevent Bart from playing again until spring training, but it’s still realistic to expect Bart to arrive in the majors at some point during the 2020 season.

President of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi has not addressed how the Giants plan to handle their catching situation this offseason and into next year, but it’s possible franchise cornerstone Buster Posey will have his time behind the plate cut when Bart reaches the big leagues.

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