Marco Luciano might be the most important Giants prospect in years. After years of swinging and missing on the international market, San Francisco appears to have a star in the making.
“My goal is to prepare the best I can and be a leader, be a face of the team,” Luciano said to MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez. “I want to be in the big leagues in three years. That’s what I’m working so hard for.”
Luciano, 17, hit .322 with 10 home runs, nine doubles and a 1.055 OPS in 38 Rookie League games this season. He doesn't turn 18 until Sept. 10, yet he's already received his first promotion. The young shortstop was assigned to Class A Short Season Salem-Keizer on Sunday and hit a RBI double in his debut.
Ranked as the Giants' No. 3 prospect by MLB.com, behind just Joey Bart and Heliot Ramos, Luciano continues to impress the Giants every day at the ballpark.
“He’s just never looked out of place, even when he was going through some ups and downs,” Giants director of player development Kyle Haines said to Sanchez. “You think about his age and his limited experience and it’s been pretty incredible to watch his success.”
The Giants signed Luciano out of the Dominican Republic for $2.6 million on July 2, 2018. He didn't play in the Dominican Summer League last year, and his first exposure to pro ball couldn't have gone any better.
Luciano headlines a new dawn for the Giants' farm system. While he's the cream of the crop, eight of the Giants' top 30 prospects are homegrown international prospects. The rest of the list includes outfielder Alexander Canario (No. 7), third baseman Luis Toribio (No. 10), outfielder Jairo Pomares (No. 13), pitcher Melvin Adon (No. 15), outfielder Sandro Fabian (No. 16), outfielder Franklin Labour (No. 20), catcher Ricardo Genoves (No. 22) and outfielder Luis Matos (No. 25).
“When it comes down to player development, I think everyone wants to point to a smoking gun and say one thing is the difference, but it’s everything,” Haines said to Sanchez. “It’s scouting, player development, the analytics department, using technology to give us information and our cultural teachers.
"It takes a full team effort to develop all players and it’s even more magnified with the international players because they sign at such a young age. We are focused on that.”
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The Giants' last homegrown international prospect to become a MLB All-Star was Pablo Sandoval in 2012. San Francisco signed Sandoval out of Venezuela all the way back in 2003.
Luciano looks to be the next Giant to do so, much sooner than later.