Joey Bart is back to full heatlh, and as of late, he's also back to full production.
The Giants' top prospect was named California League Offensive Player of the Week for July 22-28 after going 8-for-21 (.381) with three homers, a double and six runs scored over five games for Class A Advanced San Jose. This is Bart's second career Player of the Week award -- he won the Northwest League honor on July 16 last year with Class A Short Season Salem-Keizer.
The 22-year-old catcher had hits in all five of his games last week and picked up a pair of knocks in each of his last three games, marking the second time this season he had two or more hits in three straight contests. As good as last week's run was, Bart has been building up to it. Since July 13, he's gone 22-for-58 (.379) with a 1.195 OPS over his last 13 games. His season average and OPS have jumped from .234 and .702 to .276 and .843 in that span.
• View the Pitcher of the Week winners »
What's most promising about Bart's recent offensive progressions has been his ability to combine power with an impressive contact rate. The right-handed slugger's three homers last week -- which came over his final four games -- increased his season total by 33.3 percent as he had entered the week with nine long balls in his first 45 games with San Jose. But while the backstop was able to swing for the fences, he wasn't swinging and missing much either. He struck out only once over 22 plate appearances during the week with that lone K coming Sunday in the first inning at Modesto. He has now fanned in 19.3 percent of his plate appearances this season in the Cal League.
Video: San Jose's Bart leaves the yard
Last year's second overall pick got off to a solid start in his first full season, but that came to a halt when he was hit by a pitch on April 15 that caused a fracture in his left hand. He didn't return to the San Jose lineup until June 4, and it took him another five weeks or so to find the regular results expected out of the Georgia Tech product, given the plus power and solid bat he'd shown in college and the pros in 2018.
"Some days are good, some days are bad," Bart told the San Francisco Chronicle earlier this month. "With the injury, sometimes you're feeling it, you're seeing it (the ball). Other days, it's been really a lot tougher. I've hit a few home runs, but I think things are about to get going here soon.
"I'm getting the strength back in my hand. I feel good, having a great time playing. Always do, but really enjoying coming to the yard every day and pushing myself."
2019 MiLB include
The lost time and slight drop in production has done little to hurt his prospect stock. Bart was slotted at No. 21 in MLB.com's recent Top-100 prospect rankings update, making him the second-rated catching prospect in the game behind only 2019 top overall pick Adley Rutschman (No. 6). He was also selected to represent the National League at the All-Star Futures Game in Cleveland, where he went 0-for-2 and caught the final five innings. When healthy, Bart can be an asset on both the offensive and defensive sides with his glove and arm joining his power as above-average grades on his scouting report. With Bart back on the upswing -- and given his college pedigree -- it's possible he could push for a late-season move to Double-A Richmond ahead of a longer assignment there in 2020.
Below is the complete list of Minor League Offensive Players of the Week for July 22-28:
||.400/.444/.920, 6 G, 10-for-25, 1 2B, 4 HR, 14 RBI, 6 R, 0 BB, 8 K)
||.480/.567/1.520, 6 G, 12-for-25, 1 3B, 8 HR, 13 RBI, 12 R, 5 BB, 5 K
||.310/.444/.724, 9 G, 9-for-29, 1 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 9 R, 4 BB, 8 K
||.444/.500/.519, 7 G, 12-for-27, 2 2B, 0 HR, 8 RBI, 3 R, 3 BB, 2 K
||.429/.500/.667, 6 G, 9-for-21, 2 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 6 R, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 SB
||.381/.409/.857, 5 G, 8-for-21, 1 2B, 3 HR, 4 RBI, 6 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 SB
||.407/.448/.815, 7 G, 11-for-27, 1 3B, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 8 R, 2 BB, 4 K
||.346/.433/.923, 8 G, 9-for-26, 3 2B, 4 HR, 11 RBI, 9 R, 4 BB, 10 K
||.350/.462/.900, 6 G, 7-for-20, 2 2B, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 6 R, 5 BB, 7 K
||.588/.667/.647, 5 G, 10-for-17, 1 2B, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 5 R, 4 BB, 1 K, 2 SB
||.526/.500/.895, 5 G, 10-for-19, 4 2B, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 6 R, 0 BB, 6 K, 2 SB
||.345/.387/.897, 6 G, 10-for-29, 2 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 8 RBI, 8 R, 2 BB, 5 K, 1 SB
||.529/.619/.706, 5 G, 9-for-17, 0 2B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 3 R, 2 BB, 4 K
||.480/.519/.960, 6 G, 12-for-25, 7 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 10 RBI, 8 R, 2 BB, 5 K