17. C Ricardo Genoves
Acquired: IFA (2015)
Future Value: 40+ (grade up)
When the San Francisco Giants signed Ricardo Genoves during the 2015 international free agency window, he was seen as a potential plus defensive catcher with intriguing raw power at the plate.
That combination is always a good bet to at least become a solid backup, and he’s starting to show the potential for more. The 20-year-old has progressed steadily up the organizational ladder from the DSL to the AZL to Single-A, but he hadn’t stood out.
Last season, he seemed to stall in the AZL by hitting .243/.328/.311 with just one home run. The selection of Joey Bart with the No. 2 overall pick further overshadowed him.
This season, Genoves was challenged with a promotion to Low-A Salem-Keizer, and his power finally started showing up in games. After putting up a .229 ISO, the Giants challenged him again with a late-season promotion to Augusta.
Under the old regime, a prospect never saw his first taste of full-season ball late in the year. This season made it clear that the new player development team believes in pushing players with in-season adjustments.
Genoves was promoted alongside Franklin Labour and Logan Wyatt. He was the youngest of the three, but he acclimated the best. His strikeouts did increase a bit, but they remained reasonable alongside a productive .292/.361/.446 line.
The report has now flipped a bit on Genoves. Scouts have started to worry that his frame will prevent him from handling the wear and tear of catching. During his time with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Farhan Zaidi valued catchers with other positional flexibility. That could be a long-term solution to helping Genoves maintain his health and productivity.
With Bart in place as the catcher of the future, a utility role could be the path to the majors for Genoves.