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SF Giants farm system: Updated top 31 prospect rankings

DENVER, CO - JULY 11: Marco Luciano #10 of National League Futures Team bats against the American League Futures Team at Coors Field on July 11, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - JULY 11: Marco Luciano #10 of National League Futures Team bats against the American League Futures Team at Coors Field on July 11, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
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SF Giants, Ricardo Genoves
First-base coach Alyssa Nakken #92 of the SF Giants bumps fists with Ricardo Genoves #91 after he walks during the sixth inning of the MLB spring training baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels at Tempe Diablo Stadium on March 11, 2021. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)

SF Giants prospects: Midseason 2021 rankings
21. Ricardo Genovés, C

Age: 22
Highest Level: High-A (Eugene)
Acquired: IFA (2015)
Future-Value Grade: 40+

Ricardo Genovés was seen as a potential plus defensive catcher with intriguing raw power when the SF Giants signed him during the 2015 international free agency period. He’s progressed slowly up the minor-league ranks since then but remains on that trajectory.

Just two weeks older than Patrick Bailey, Genovés started the season at Low-A San Jose in deference to the former first-round pick. However, after Genovés backed up a breakout 2019 season with a monstrous .338/.441/.551 triple-slash and Bailey collapsed at High-A, Genovés was promoted to Eugene.

Genovés and Bailey remain an interesting comparison. Bailey’s college resume exceeds almost anything Genovés has done up to this point, but Genovés has far exceeded Bailey against older pro competition. In fact, the biggest disparity between Genovés’ and Bailey’s performance in 2021 has tied back to exactly that. Both catchers have generated an OPS north of .900 against younger opposing pitchers. However, Bailey has hit just .201/.319/.310 against older counterparts while Genovés has generated a .276/.343/.449 triple-slash in those situations.

Known for his defensive prowess for much of his career, Genovés has hit some speed bumps transitioning to the newer catching techniques that have become doctrine in the Giants organization. Long known as an advanced defender, Genovés has shown some inconsistencies for the first time in his career, already accumulating 22 passed balls in 90 games.

With that said, Bailey has caught 33% fewer innings than Genovés and has made an equal number of errors (7) and amassed 12 passed balls. Most catchers take some time to adapt to the non-traditional techniques teams have been employing and everyone relearns habits at their own pace. Genovés has done everything else behind the plate exceptionally well, and he should become an above-average defender.

A lot is resting on Genovés’ defensive ability. Assuming he becomes comfortable with the new technique, he should have a future MLB career at least as a backup. If it all comes together at the plate, he has the potential to be a .240 hitter with 12-18 homer power, which should be good enough to be an average starting catcher.

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