A broken left hand limited Giants top prospect Joey Bart to just 57 games over four months with Single-A San Jose last season.
Then a broken right thumb cut his Arizona Fall League stint short in October.
Opposing pitchers were pitching Bart inside, and it cost him development time. Between San Jose, Double-A Richmond and the Fall League, Bart managed to play in just 89 games in 2019.
But as Giants broadcaster Mike Krukow detailed Friday, it appears Bart made an adjustment to his batting stance that was paying off during spring training in March.
"He's been hurt twice," Krukow said on KNBR's "Murph and Mac" show. "He's had his hand busted up twice, which tells me one thing. He's a big, tall guy -- 6-foot-3, 240 [pounds] -- and they are pitching him in, and so he's had to make some adjustments on that. And when I saw him hit the ball middle away, and I went, 'Oh my god, get used to getting pitched in some more.'
"But you learn to deal with that, and it looked to me like he had made some adjustments in his stance to protect himself and he was still getting outside coverage with power. That, to me, is exciting."
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Bart tore up the Cactus League before the coronavirus pandemic hit. In nine games, he had seven hits in 16 at-bats, including two home runs.
The 23-year-old catcher will be part of the Giants' 60-man roster for the 2020 MLB season, but manager Gabe Kapler cautioned against expecting to see Bart in the big leagues when the 60-game schedule starts in late July.
"I have no doubt that he has the talent to help us win games this summer," Kapler told NBC Sports Bay Area's Alex Pavlovic on the Giants Insider Podcast this week. "Do I think that it's likely that his best path to his best career is starting with the major league club? I don't think that's his best path. I think there are other ways to get to the ultimate goal, which is to have him make an impact on the San Francisco Giants roster for 10 years.
"I think that we really have to keep the long view in mind here. There's no doubt that he's talented enough to help. I don't know if that right time is at the very beginning of the season in 2020."
Bart might not make his big league debut this year, but it's clear he's putting in the work to make sure he doesn't have to wait much longer.
Giants' Joey Bart made big change to batting stance, Mike Krukow says originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area