Look, there’s no way to sugar coat this: The Giants have the best group of catching prospects they have had in a very long time.
In fact, it’s so good, I decided to break my own very strict rules, and included four catchers in this positional ranking (instead of the usual three). With so many catchers, the Giants will have a lot of options going forward, from players they promote to players they could trade.
The group of prospects the Giants range from high draft pedigree to high defensive potential to strong offensive skills but a risk of coming off the position. But in 2022, that top prospect will end up being a huge part of the big league season.
#1 – Joey Bart
Joey Bart is cursed with both the high expectations of a top draft position, but also with some prospect fatigue after a slow and stunted path through the minors and a forced major league debut before he was ready. With Buster Posey’s sudden retirement, there will be a lot of focus and expectations on how Bart will perform. He still is dealing with his strikeout issues, and will probably have adjustments to make to the majors, but the potential remains high with Bart for the future.
#2 – Patrick Bailey
The drafting of Patrick Bailey in the first round of the 2020 draft immediately created a bit of debate about what it meant for the future of Bart, but 2021 turned into a season that focused more on his own future. He was promoted directly to High-A, but struggled at the level, with a lot of strikeouts and some contact issues. He would bounce back, taking some time in Arizona before heading to Low-A, where he hit more like the expectations that were placed on him. A return to High-A will answer a lot of questions about who Bailey is, which is still an excellent defensive catcher.
#3 – Ricardo Genovés
This was a tight choice, which is why we have four ranked catchers in this list. Genovés ranks a hair higher with his offensive profile and the performance he put in at both full-season A-Ball levels. Genovés did struggle a bit at the higher level, but he puts a real charge into the ball. The bigger question at the moment is whether Genovés will stay behind the plate, as he has a thick frame that isn’t ideal behind the plate. As long as he does, Genovés has the kind of offensive upside that could lead to the majors in a backup profile.
#4 – Adrian Sugastey
Adrian Sugastey’s pro debut was delayed for a year thanks to COVID, and his first season in Arizona was a bit of a breakout. Sugastey has a well-rounded profile both offensively and defensively. Of course, he’s only at the Arizona Rookie level so far, so his full-season debut at San Jose will be worth watching to see if he can repeat it.
Other Prospects To Note:
Not far behind this list was Juan Perez, a Venezuelan catcher who signed in January of 2022 as part of the international signing class, getting the team’s second-highest bonus of $1.1 million. He is quite likely to make this list for 2023…Brandon Martorano took a role as an organizational solider, getting into 64 games between High-A and Triple-A. He was at his best in Eugene…Brett Auerbach played 26 games at catcher among many other positions this season, but he’ll show up on another list.