I’m agog! I’m elated! The San Francisco Giants have called up catcher Patrick Bailey, McCovey Chronicles’ #10-ranked community prospect and MLB Pipeline’s #11 prospect in the system.
Patrick Bailey and Ryan Walker are off to the Land of the Giants!— Sacramento River Cats (@RiverCats) May 19, 2023
We wish y'all nothing but success, Patrick and Ryan! pic.twitter.com/pzd8Fjj41X
The switch-hitting Bailey was riding a five-game hitting streak heading into yesterday, but his 14-game Triple-A experience didn’t produce a robust line: .216/.317/.353 with an 11.7% walk rate and 25% strikeout rate. His 14 games in Double-A, though? Oh baby: .333/.400/.481, 10% walk rate, 21.7% K rate.
Here’s a video of his first Triple-A home run, thanks to friend of the site, Roger Munter:
Though he shows little speed on the bases, Bailey moves well for a catcher and is agile behind the plate. He’s a quality receiver and blocker who frames pitches well,
Scouts also like his game calling and leadership abilities.
This move was made possible thanks to Joey Bart’s groin. That landed him on the 10-day IL. In order to get Bailey on the roster, the Giants transferred Heliot Ramos to the 60-day IL with a right oblique strain.
It’s another piece of bad news for the once shiny prospect. Ramos is still just 23! He’s nearly four years younger than his competitors in Triple-A, but so far this season, his improvements have been meager: .262/.333/.385 in 75 plate appearances. That’s certainly better than the .654 OPS he had in 475 Triple-A PA last year, but you’d hope that this trip doesn’t set him back again. Well, at least, that’s what I hope.
Cal Stevenson was also designated for assignment in order to clear a 40-man roster spot for RHP Ryan Walker, called up with Bailey today.
Walker was an undrafted free agent signing in 2018 with 23 strikeouts against 8 walks in 20.1 IP for the River Cats. That goes with a 0.84 WHIP and zero (0) home runs allowed. In the PCL? Is that allowed??? Well, if you watched the exhibition game with the A’s, then you probably aren’t surprised, because that side-winding look of his sure is distracting to a hitter:
Ryan Walker in AAA this year: 20 1/3 innings, 2 earned runs, 23 strikeouts. The 27-year-old showed enough this spring that Giants brought him to Bay Bridge Series (also lol at Casey Schmitt casually throwing 93 mph on this play): pic.twitter.com/jjbkjMS76l— Alex Pavlovic (@PavlovicNBCS) May 19, 2023
I’m looking forward to seeing his Statcast data. The Giants seem to prefer 95-mph sinker/2500 rpm slider guys and I want to see if Walker approaches that threshold.
But the big news here, obviously, is Bailey, their top catching prospect. Like the Schmitt call-up, this feels a little bit different from the typical front office move. In the other callup, I wonder if there was some degree of marketing and desperation there. Here, it seems like the Giants might just be tired of Bart’s struggles and want to see if being aggressive with their prospects will keep working out.
28 minor league games is very much in the Small Sample Size Zone, of which I thought Smart Teams were always keenly aware. That said, Year Five of a tenure seems like the right time to adjust the risk model, even if only for a season, just to see what happens. Transition plans in team sports don’t really follow any sort of path. Front offices have to be adaptable, nimble. It’s entirely possible that the development stall out of the prior couple of years has given way to breakthroughs this year and the Giants have decided to be opportunistic.
Meanwhile, the Giants also placed Ross Stripling in the 15-day IL with a lower back strain.