SF Giants top prospects: No. 20 — C Ricardo Genoves
Highest Level: Class-A (Augusta)
Acquired: IFA (2015)
Future-Value Grade: 40+
Ricardo Genoves was seen as a potential plus defensive catcher with intriguing raw power at the plate when the Giants signed him during the 2015 international free agency period. He’s come to live up to that billing.
That combination is generally a good bet to become a solid backup, but I’m higher than most on his potential to fill an everyday role. While he’s had his struggles at the plate, he’s steadily progressed up the organizational ladder from the DSL to Class-A Augusta. He has yet to look extremely overmatched against consistently older competition.
Just two weeks older than 2020 first-round selection Patrick Bailey, Genoves was in the middle of a breakout season in 2019 while Bailey built his draft resume. At just 20 years old, Genoves posted a massive .229 ISO with an elite strikeout rate while continuing to show his defensive potential for short-season Salem-Keizer. After a late-season promotion to full-season ball, Genoves still posted a productive .292/.361/.446 triple-slash line.
Like Rayner Santana, Genoves has an abnormally large frame for a catcher. Still, he’s been strong enough in his minor-league career that I’m confident in his ability to stay behind the dish and be above-average or better defensively. Things would change pretty drastically, though, if he did have to change positions. His 20-grade speed makes it impossible to imagine him moving anywhere other than third or first base, and his bat probably lacks enough juice to become a legitimate option at either spot.
A lot is resting on Genoves’ defensive ability. He has the potential to be an average big-league hitter, with 12-18 homer power. Assuming he maintains his strong defensive profile, that should make him an everyday player. If his hit tool stalls, he still has a decent shot at a long career as a backup.