From Mays to Bonds to Clark and Bart, hard-hitting advice runs through generations of Giants

Before the San Francisco Giants sent demoted receiver Joey Bart to Triple-A Sacramento, he worked with the team’s hitting coaches to fine-tune some things with his swing — and one of the people looking forward to talking to Bart is Will Clark.

Clark, the retired Giants first baseman and one of the great hitters in San Francisco history, said Saturday he thought he could help Bart with potential problems by hitting the fastball inside. , an area he thinks Bart needs work on. Bart, 25, was batting .156 with 49 strikeouts in 90 at bats when he was demoted Tuesday.

The best information Clark ever got on hitting the inside fastball came from another giant Giants giant, Barry Bonds, who in turn got it from the biggest giant, Willie Mays, according to Clark.

“I was having trouble with that pitch right when Barry came in, snagging it down the line, and he took me out before a game one day and we hit 500 balls at 1 p.m.,” Clark said, explaining that the correct approach involves pulling the hands to get the barrel on the ball. “He learned that from Mays – so now he’s just passing that down the line.”

That’s quite a legacy Bart could benefit from, and a big reason former players like Clark provide so much in an advisory role.

“I really enjoy the experience and that experience is a different and less accessible form of coaching from our coaching staff,” manager Gabe Kapler said. “Having someone like Will or Barry around to share their personal batting experiences goes a long way. I think it’s a very necessary extension of our coaching stuff.

Clark, 58, loves working with the team’s young hitters, and he also likes to catch a glimpse of the club’s newest members, like outfielder Luis González. Clark, who had one of the smoothest left-handed swings ever, is a fan of González, saying, “I really like it, it’s very simple and direct to the ball. Large swing.

He was hugely impressed with starter Jakob Junis, and he brightened up a tough day for Junis on Saturday. Shortly after Junis was placed on the IL with a strained hamstring, Clark approached him, introduced himself – and told Junis he reminded him of Greg Maddux. The reason? Junis’ dive/slider suit.

“It makes an X, just like Maddux,” Clark said. “As a hitter, it locks you in.”

“It was a nice conversation,” Junis said with a big smile. “Will said Maddux and I are similar because the slider goes in that direction and kind of couples with a double seam that comes in that direction.

“He said he would much rather face a guy who was just trying to throw him off the seat of his pants because he knew no matter how hard it was, he knew where it was going to end. The guys he had trouble with were the guys with things breaking left and right. Coming from a hitter as good as him, to hear that he had more uncomfortable hitting against guys like me was pretty awesome.

The Giants will retire Clark’s number 22 on July 30 at Oracle Park.

Susan Slusser covers the Giants for The San Francisco Chronicle. Email: [email protected]: @susanslusser

Garland K. Long