Giants' Marco Luciano makes MLB's list of top 10 shortstop prospects

Giants' Marco Luciano makes MLB's list of top 10 shortstop prospects

The Giants already have a perfect succession plan in place behind the plate, with Joey Bart set to eventually take over for Buster Posey as the catcher and potential face of the franchise. They might have a similar development at another key defensive position. 

It's been a decade since the Giants had to worry about the shortstop position, but with Brandon Crawford now 33, the franchise finally is ready to look to the future. Enter Marco Luciano, the top prospect in the organization by some accounts, and one of the top 10 shortstops prospects in the game, according to MLB Pipeline. 

The list, released Wednesday morning, has the 18-year-old Luciano as the seventh-best shortstop prospect in the minors. Luciano also was named the No. 19 overall prospect by Baseball America. 

Luciano has the potential to be a true game-changer for an organization going through a rebuild, although he's still far from the big leagues. In his first full professional season, Luciano played 37 games of rookie ball in Arizona and nine more for Salem-Keizer, hitting .302 with a .417 on-base percentage and .564 slugging percentage. He had 10 homers, 13 doubles and stole nine bases. 

Signed out of the Dominican Republic by the previous regime for $2.6 million, Luciano possesses more natural power than just about any prospect in the game. MLB Pipeline projected that he could hit 40 homers annually if he reaches his ceiling, noting that his power comes from "outstanding bat speed, wiry strength and the loft in his right-handed stroke."

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The outlet also listed Luciano with three others in the "best arm" category. Tampa Bay's Wander Franco was selected as the best shortstop prospect, and the list also provided a reminder of how tough the climb back to the top of the NL West will be even if Luciano is in the lineup in a couple of years. The Dodgers had the No. 2 shortstop prospect in Gavin Lux, who is expected to be their starting second baseman this year, and the No. 8 prospect in Jeter Downs. 

Farhan Zaidi loves how Giants' Mauricio Dubon has embraced versatility


Farhan Zaidi loves how Giants' Mauricio Dubon has embraced versatility

Mauricio Dubon had a Giants spring training debut to remember. The 25-year-old went deep with his first swing in San Francisco's Cactus League opener and followed that with an RBI single to center field. 

On defense, however, Dubon bobbled a ball at shortstop and was marked with an error. It just so happened he was set to have his player meeting with manager Gabe Kapler, general manager Scott Harris and president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi after the game. Zaidi joked they were going to have to move him off shortstop after the bobble, but it was all in good fun. 

The reality is, Dubon won't be sticking at shortstop. Or second base for that matter. He'll be moved all around the field to keep his bat and athleticism in the lineup.

"He's a confident kid and we saw him do some nice things at shortstop last year," Zaidi said Monday on KNBR's "Murph & Mac Show." "He knows the more spots that he can play, the more options he's gonna give Gabe and the staff and the more at-bats he's gonna get, so he's fully embraced that." 

Dubon played 22 games at second base for the Giants and nine at shortstop after being acquired in a trade with the Milwaukee Brewers before the July 31 deadline. There were whispers in the offseason that the Giants could experiment with him in center field, too. 

Late last month, Dubon gave us a glimpse of what that could look like. 

"What you love about Mauricio, even as he saw us bringing in a couple guys that may get playing time at second base for us -- Wilmer Flores and Yolmer Sanchez -- he's really embraced that possibility of moving around," Zaidi said. 

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Even in the minor leagues, Dubon is yet to move from the infield to the outfield. He strictly has played second and short in the majors, and also has 11 games under his belt at third base in the minor leagues. On Wednesday, the Giants will get their first look at Dubon the outfielder. 

Dubon is scheduled to take Billy Hamilton's place in center field at some point against the Brewers. It might not look perfect at first, but Dubon has the athleticism and work ethic to make this the best situation for both parties. 

Versatility is becoming the new norm in baseball, and Dubon's willingness to wear many hats should be of great benefit to the Giants.

Giants vs. Brewers live stream: How to watch MLB game streaming online


Giants vs. Brewers live stream: How to watch MLB game streaming online

Jeff Samardzija takes the hill for the first time this spring when the Giants battle the Brewers on Wednesday at Scottsdale Stadium. 

Buster Posey will be in the squat as Samardzija's battery mate. The veteran catcher also is looking for his first hit of the spring.

Both teams enter Wednesday with a 2-2 record this spring. 

Former Giants pitcher Shawn Estes and San Jose Giants broadcaster Joe Ritzo are on the call. Another former Giant will be making a guest appearance in the booth during the seventh inning. 

Bruce Bochy will grab a mic, and we can only hope for stories of Madison Bumgarner going bear hunting. The legendary Giants manager has been around the club this spring as a special advisor and will continue to have a role with the club.

[RELATED: How Hjelle impressed Zaidi in Giants spring training debut]

Here’s how you can watch the Giants face the Brewers on Wednesday.

Date: Wednesday, Feb. 26
Time: 12:05 p.m. PT
Live stream: Desktop stream