Ricardo Genovés, C
BATS: R / THROWS: R
ACQUIRED: International Signing, July 2015
LAST LEVEL: Double-A
GiantFutures 2023 Ranks: #3 Catcher
2022 Performance: Ricardo Genovés started the season out on the doorstep to the Majors, but took a step backwards in a rough year. Genovés started the season in Sacramento, and had some ups and downs, doing his best with a .296/.361/.407 batting line in May. But going just 2-for-21 (.095) to start June led to a moved down to Richmond. After a hot start, the struggles came back, and he finished the year hitting just .203/.386/.374 in Double-A. Genovés struggled more as the season went on, batting under .200 every month after June.
Where Genovés improved was in his defense, cutting down on his passed balls and improving his caught stealing rate from 28.7% to 30.4%, though that probably was also impacted by new pickoff rules in 2021. Genoves also got more work elsewhere in the infield in 2022, with nine games at first and his first pro game at third base.
At the end of the season, the 23-year old Genovés opted for minor league free agency, but ended up signing back with the Giants.
Strengths and Weaknesses: When Genovés is at his best, his offense is what carries him. Genovés had his best offensive season in 2021, when he jumped up three levels with a career-high .275 batting average and career-high .359 OBP, and 14 home runs in 109 games. As a catcher, offense is a low bar to cross when it comes to being playable, and that sort of offense would have been more than good enough. The question is whether what happened in 2022 represents a new Genovés, or a blip.
There’s more questions defensively. Genovés is very big bodied, and is definitely not the kind of body that will hold up well even with a one-leg down stance behind the plate. He did seem more sure-handed on defense, which was good for his chances to stick behind the plate.
2023 Outlook: The Giants signed a series of other catchers to minor league contracts heading into spring training to compete for the big league catching job, leaving Genovés not in the discussion. What that probably means is that Triple-A will probably be manned by more experienced catchers, like Austin Wynns and Roberto Pérez. That will leave Genovés a spot in Richmond, but with the ability to earn his way back to Triple-A if he goes back into his 2021 form.
Future Profile: At his best, Genovés feels like a backup catcher, and possibly a backup first base option as well. His bat in 2021 profiles well for that role, both as a pinch-hitter and a guy who catches once every three or four games. But he needs to show he can hit again to reach that level.