Zaidi declares Bart still important part of Giants organization

Zaidi declares Bart still important part of Giants organization originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

Just a few years ago, Joey Bart was seen as the Giants' catcher of the future.

But things change quickly in sports, and now Bart finds himself back at Triple-A Sacramento with no clear path to playing time in San Francisco due to the emergence of rookie Patrick Bailey.

The 2023 MLB trade deadline came and went with Bart remaining in the Giants' organization despite MLB Network's Jon Morosi reporting that 26-year-old catcher was being discussed in trades.

Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi met with local reporters following the trade deadline Tuesday and was asked about Bart and what the future might hold for the 2018 first-round draft pick.

"He's working on getting in a rhythm offensively," Zaidi told reporters. "He's still a really important part of this organization. I still would see him being a strong consideration for a playoff roster just because he knows our pitchers [and is] a really good defensive catcher. This is probably what's best for him now, just to get consistent at-bats and get in a rhythm because the last two or three years have been really disjointed for him from a development standpoint."

Zaidi did mention that the Giants front office had conversations about Bart amongst themselves but never discussed him in trade talks with other teams.

"We talked about him some today internally, not in a trade context," Zaidi said, "And it's so important this time of the year that you have catching depth and somebody who can come up if you have an injury or if you decide to kind of change the configuration of the roster, who knows your pitchers, who can slide right in, he's obviously the perfect guy for that."

Bart began the 2023 season on the Giants' major league roster, splitting catching duties with veteran Roberto Perez. But both sustained injuries, with Bart hitting the IL in May with a left groin strain.

That opened the door for Bailey and he hasn't let anyone barge through to take his spot, showing elite defense that has won several games for the Giants, including Tuesday against the Arizona Diamondbacks when he ended the game by picking off Geraldo Perdomo at first base to end the 4-3 victory.

Before going on the IL, Bart slashed .231/.286/.295 with five doubles and four RBI in 26 games with the Giants. In 36 games with the River Cats since coming off the IL, he's hitting .226/.331/.363 with eight doubles, three homers and 17 RBI.

Bart's assignment in Sacramento is clear: Work on his offensive skills while maintaining his high defensive standards because those tools could come in handy if the Giants lock up an NL playoff spot.

"Just looking for him to continue to get at-bats and get in a rhythm offensively because when he was up here, he was one of the best [pitch] framers in the big leagues, one of the best overall defensive catchers in the big leagues and the offense is an area of continuing development for him," Zaidi said.

The Giants still believe in Bart, which is why they didn't trade him before Tuesday's deadline. Now he just has to wait his time for his next opportunity.

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