Joey Bart is one of the best prospects in baseball. In fact, the future Giants starting catcher, Rookie of the Year, All-Star, MVP, World Series hero, and Face of Baseball is so good, a fractured left hand from a hit-by-pitch earlier this year barely slowed him down. He raked to close his season at Double-A raking, and he continued raking when he was sent to the AFL, where he just earned a nod to the league’s All-Star game.
Unfortunately, in a scenario that’s becoming all too familiar with Giants fans, it looks like Bart’s magical season has come to a premature close.
Bart was removed from the game last night after getting nailed on the hand by a 96-mph fastball from Pirates prospect Blake Cederlind. It was Bart’s second HBP of the game; he was clipped in a previous at-bat, albeit on the hip. However, it was only confirmed today that he suffered a fractured right thumb.
Bart sustained a fractured left hand earlier in the season that caused him to miss 43 games. It is too early to say what the recovery timetable looks like—probably 4–6 weeks—but whatever the case, Bart’s season is done. It’s especially unlucky, because a big part of why Bart was sent to the AFL in the first place was to make up for all those missing at-bats and reps behind home plate.
The only silver lining is that it comes at the end of the season, when he’ll have a full offseason to recover before his inevitable Spring Training invite. And if his return from the first fracture is any indication, Bart will (hopefully) have no trouble returning to full strength. After all, the franchise’s hopes for the future are in his hands, and boy oh boy, is it a lot to carry.
Nevertheless, I argue that the league needs to establish a new rule banning projectiles of any sort targeting, intentionally or otherwise, the hands of Giants players, because this is getting ridiculous.