One of the Giants top prospects will return to AAA after some serious struggles.
To get another catcher in the fold, the Giants traded for Philadelphia Phillies catcher Austin Wynns, sending left-handed pitcher Michael Plassmeyer and cash considerations to the east coast.
The #SFGiants and Phillies completed a trade today with C Austin Wynns joining the Giants organization in exchange for LHP Michael Plassmeyer and cash considerations.
In addition, C Joey Bart was optioned to Triple-A Sacramento postgame yesterday.
— SFGiants (@SFGiants) June 8, 2022
Bart, a 25 year old who was the second overall pick in the 2018 MLB Draft, was named the Opening Day starter and the unofficial title of starting catcher. He began the season strong, hitting a home run in the opener, and hitting .214/.340/.452 in April.
But since then he’s been awful at the plate. Since the start of May, Bart is hitting just 5-48 with only one extra-base hit: a home run off of Albert Pujols.
That’s brought his season numbers down to .156/.296/.300, with a whopping 49 strikeouts in 108 plate appearances, though he’s drawn a very impressive 15 walks in that time.
Bart’s defense has been quite strong, and the Giants seem to still be optimistic about him — or at least they are publicly taking that stance.
Farhan Zaidi tells me the Giants “still think Joey is an everyday catcher. … We thought it made sense to get a little bit of a reset.”
— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) June 8, 2022
Strikeouts have always been a huge issue for Bart, and one that only figured to be exacerbated this year given that he had bulked up, and was facing superior pitching in the Majors. We’ll see if some time with AAA Sacramento, and some daily plate appearances, can help get him back on track.
Wynns, a 31 year old right-handed hitter, has three years of MLB experience, appearing in games in 2018, 2019, and 2021 for the Baltimore Orioles, and hitting .216/.255/.326. He’s been excellent this year in AAA, hitting .365/.504/.500 (179 wRC+) in 134 plate appearances, with far more walks (28) than strikeouts (18).
In the trade the Giants lose Plassmeyer, whom they acquired last season in the trade that sent Matt Wisler to the Tampa Bay Rays. He’s struggled this year in AAA, boasting a 7.38 ERA and an 8.21 FIP, with uninspiring walk and strikeout numbers.
Plassmeyer was not on the 40-man roster, so the Giants still need to announce a corresponding roster move to clear a space for Wynns.