Scottsdale, Arizona —— Entering play on Wednesday night, San Francisco Giants catching prospect Ricardo Genoves is slashing .236/.317/.336/.653 over 32 games (110 at-bats) for the Arizona League‘s Arizona League Giants, with three doubles, a triple, two home runs, and 12 walks against 24 strikeouts so far in 2017. I observed the young catcher last week in AZL action; below is Baseball Census‘ full Ricardo Genoves scouting report, including several videos.
Ricardo Genoves Scouting Report — Video
Our first video of San Francisco Giants catching prospect Ricardo Genoves shows his game at-bats during Arizona League action on August 7 against the Arizona League White Sox:
And our second Ricardo Genoves video shows his work behind the plate, flashing defensive skills including blocking, framing, receiving, and throwing:
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Ricardo Genoves Scouting Report — Notes
A surprisingly good athlete for a catcher, Ricardo Genoves is an impressive specimen behind the plate relative to his age and level. The right-handed hitting catcher has some offensive work to do in order to be a viable prospect, but he’s already receiving high marks for his glove work across the board, with a particularly good feel for throwing and blocking. The San Francisco Giants prospect also showed me an impressive ability in balancing the need to be patient with—and then push—his young pitching staff, and he manages games like a veteran with very good situational awareness. His pitch framing skills are good now, and more nuance ought to come in time, too; there’s no reason he can’t be as advanced there as in his other defensive work, though it’ll simply take more professional innings for him to learn some of the subtleties of that art.
I know for a fact that the San Francisco Giants are high on him internally, and while we will see whether those opinions are a precursor to him becoming a big-time prospect or simply an intriguing depth option, there’s plenty reason to be optimistic about his development this early in his professional career.
Offensively, though, Ricardo Genoves is far more limited at this point. That’s thanks to very little power and far below-average bat speed, to name the most glaring issues. The catcher isn’t an offensive threat, and won’t likely be one for some time, though his pitch tracking and contact skills are encouraging and improved strength along with the magic of lots of repetitions will hopefully develop him into a good-enough offensive option. Nevertheless, he’s almost certainly destined to provide virtually all of his value from behind the plate, so any offensive development is, to some degree, a bonus.
For those who read a lot of my reports, you know that I hesitate to specifically project out rookie ball guys in the same way I do for, say, High-A prospects. That’s not out of a fear of being wrong (believe me, I’m going to be wrong about many, many players anyways!), but more so because there’s just so much damn development to take place in a guy like this over the next few years that it muddies the water to think about highly-specialized big league roles in a teenager who is still learning the basics of the game. Ricardo Genoves could become a defense-first catching whiz who turns into a Tony Wolters-type of ballplayer, or he could become such an offensive black hole that he can’t work his way through the system in another few years. Or, likely, he’ll fall somewhere in between those two extremes.
Above all, for right now in this moment, he carries himself like a veteran, and he has the pure movements and physical tools that make me think he could become a far above-average defender in the near future. Aside from the front line prospects everybody already knows (guys like Heliot Ramos, Jacob Gonzalez, and Seth Corry), without a doubt my pick to keep tracking from this AZL Giants squad is Ricardo Genoves. Exceptional defense will help him move steadily in a San Francisco Giants system generally bereft of top-line catching talent, and any offensive improvements along the way will only further raise his impressive, currently under-the-radar profile.