Well, would you look at that. The San Francisco Giants have promoted their top position player prospect to Triple-A. Did you ever think you’d live to see the day that the Giants could have a 5-tool superstar?
Marco Luciano has hit .228/.339/.450 with 11 home runs and 12 doubles in 56 games for Double-A Richmond this year. He has easily reclaimed the shiny superstar prospect status he held before a stress fracture in his lower back derailed his development.
Right now, we just have this tweet about the promotion to Triple-A:
The always reliable Baseball Jeff adds more context for this achievement:
If you’re doubting the five-tool part of the equation, then you haven’t listened to Roger Munter on Giants Chroncast give a full scouting report on Luciano for this season. He actually goes to the games. Based on what he’s seen, not only has Luciano changed his approach as a batter to be a little more like Brandon Belt (working deep counts, crushing pitches in the zone), he still looks like a shortstop:
I’ve been impressed with the way he’s moving at shortstop lately. Two months ago, I thought he was a little stiff-looking as he was coming back from the back injury, but he’s looked pretty good out there this year. I do think there’s still a potential outcome where he’s a shortstop hitting 35 home runs. I don’t think that possibility has set sail yet.
So, yeah, I’m excited about the possibilities. A 35-home run hitter? On the Giants? In the 21st century? Most of you are probably more excited about the Giants adding another prospect to their major league portfolio, which already has Patrick Bailey, Luis Matos, and Casey Schmitt. And then there’s Kyle Harrison right there at Triple-A who might actually have his command-control issues ironed out in time for a dual September call-up with Luciano (recall that September roster expansion is just two extra spots now). That’d be really cool, of course, and would be the culmination of the team’s grand player development design, but I’m just stuck on the five-tool part of this.
Does he have the speed and can he hit for average? That remains to be seen and now with his presence in Sacramento, it’ll be easier to see it and dream or see it and adjust expectations as a fan. Retooling his approach to work deeper counts will certainly impact that average, but prior to this season, he really was more of a .260-.270 guy, anyway. But I’m dreaming big, because that’s what a player like Luciano inspires. Yes, a sound outcome begetting multiple depth players inspires the process hounds, but at the end of the day, a superstar — someone who seemingly does it all — is what really captures hearts and minds.
... hey — how’d that get in here?
No, Marco Luciano isn’t the next Shohei Ohtani, but from the time the Giants signed him as an international free agent in 2018, he’s been the great prospect hope. A pandemic combined with a serious back injury might’ve diminished that hope from the outside looking in, but Luciano’s star talent has persevered and now he’s one step closer to reaching the big leagues. Hopefully as a Giant.