Going into the 2018 First-Year Player Draft, Joey Bart's offensive calling card was plus raw power. That has quickly translated to in-game power as a pro.
The No. 2 overall pick last month by San Francisco homered in his fourth straight game Thursday as Class A Short Season Salem-Keizer defeated Everett, 3-1, at Everett Memorial Stadium.
Gameday box score
After going hitless in his first three at-bats, Bart blasted a solo shot over the center-field wall against right-handed reliever Dayeison Arias in the eighth inning.
The dinger gave the Georgia Tech product six homers in just 54 at-bats as a pro after he hit 16 in 220 at-bats in college this season. All six have come in the past 31 at-bats since he was promoted from the Rookie-level Arizona League.
"I wasn't thinking that much, like most of the time at the plate," he told the Keizertimes Podcast about his home run surge. "I wasn't really thinking, I just was looking for a good pitch.
"It's been fun. I'm just glad to be out here playing hard. Just trying to get accustomed to my pitchers. I still got some work to do before I'm really locked in."
As impressive as Bart's bat has been as a pro, it was his glove that had scouts flocking to watch him, even in high school. He was drafted by the Rays in the 27th round in 2015, but wanted to attend Georgia Tech in his home state. Scouts say his arm is strong and accurate, and it rates as above average if not plus on the 20-80 scale.
"No, I wouldn't say I had that in mind," Bart told the Keizertimes Podcast about his decision not to turn pro in 2015 and ending up the No. 2 pick. "I knew that I was going to get a lot better in college and develop my game, get me ready for this position, but everything just happened. I have a long way to go."
His receiving skills also get good marks from scouts, and behind the plate Thursday, he started off with 6-foot-11 right-hander Sean Hjelle, the Giants' second-round pick from the University of Kentucky. Hjelle delivered two perfect innings with two strikeouts in his third pro outing.
Bart said his brief time as a pro has not been a stark change from amateur ball.
"It's not too different to be honest with you," he told the Keizertimes Podcast. "I guess there's a lot of younger guys . . . players here are definitely more talented than they are in college."
Doug Still (1-0) got the win after allowing a run on four hits in three innings. Left-hander Max Roberts (1-3) gave up two runs on eight hits in 4 2/3 innings.