Joey_Bart

Joey Bart rounds the bases after hitting a home run during spring training. The Buford grad is making slow but steady progress after coming back in June from a fractured hand.

Joey Bart has been back with the San Jose Giants of the Class A (Advanced) California League for more than a month after suffering a fractured hand just 10 days into the 2019 Minor League Baseball season.

Still, the Buford grad, 2014 Daily Post Player of the Year and former Georgia Tech standout admits it is taking a little longer for him to get back to the form that made him the San Francisco Giants’ first-round draft pick in the 2018 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, and the No. 19 overall prospect as ranked by MLB.com.

But he’s getting there.

“Some days are good, some days are bad,” Bart recently told the San Francisco Chronicle. “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.”

The offensive results are coming a little more slowly, though the 6-foot-2, 235-pound catcher broke a 1-for-19 slump by going 2-for-5 with an RBI in the Giants’ 8-4 loss to the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes.

However, Bart did show off his defensive skills behind the plate in last weekend’s MLB Futures Game in Cleveland by throwing out Wander Franco trying to steal second with a pop time of 1.97 seconds and arm strength of 84.5 mph.

For the season, Bart his hitting .234 with six home runs (four since returning from the injury), 22 RBIs and a .702 OPS in 37 games.

Marsh also on the mend

Another Buford grad and former Daily Post Player of the Year (in 2016) is getting quicker results at the plate after recently coming off the injured list.

Los Angeles Angels prospect Brandon Marsh was activated by the Mobile Bay Bears of the Double-A Southern League following a stint on the seven-day injured list with an ailing leg July 4, and has seven hits in his first 24 at bats (.292) with three stolen bases and three runs scored through his first six games.

For the season, the 6-4, 215-pound outfielder is hitting .270 with a home run, 19 RBIs and 13 steals in two levels of minor-league ball, including a .292 average with a homer, 17 RBIs and 12 steals in 51 games with Mobile.

Jones heating up

Marsh’s Bay Bears teammate, and fellow Gwinnett grad, Jahmai Jones has had his struggles throughout his first full season in Double-A ball, though the Wesleyan grad and 2015 Daily Post Player of the Year’s bat has caught fire over the past week.

Jones, who has switched over to second base after being drafted as an outfielder by the Angels in second round in the 2015 draft, has nine hits in his last 24 at-bats, a .375 clip, with three RBIs, five runs scored and a stolen base in his last six games dating back to July 5.

Recent draftees getting their feet wet

A quick update on some of the 16 Gwinnett grads who were selected in this year’s draft in June begins with recent Collins Hill grad Nasim Nunez, who was selected in the second round by Miami.

The 5-9, 160-pound shortstop is hitting .268 with six RBIs, eight stolen bases and 14 runs scored in 15 games with the Marlins affiliate in the Gulf Coast Rookie League. … Fellow Collins Hill grad and former Auburn standout Will Holland is hitting .120 with a homer, two RBIs and a steal in seven games since joining the Minnesota Twins’ rookie-league affiliate, the Elizabethton Twins of the Appalachian League. … Lanier grad and former Georgia Gwinnett College standout Cam Coursey has hit safely in nine of his last 10 games with the Missoula Ospreys, the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Pioneer Rookie (Advanced) League affiliate … At least two more recent Gwinnett draftees, Mountain View grad Grant Collyer and Grayson grad Bradley Blalock, will make their professional debuts soon after signing with the Texas Rangers and Boston Red Sox respectively before the deadline to do so passed this past week.

Sports Reporter

Graduated from GSU in 1990. Have worked in sports journalism for the past 28 years, covering a variety of sports at the Gwinnett Daily News, AJC, Lafayette (La.) Daily Advertiser and Marietta Daily Journal before returning to Gwinnett at the Post in 2007.