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What impresses Bochy most about Giants top prospect Luciano

/ by Dalton Johnson
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Marco Luciano

In this sense, Bruce Bochy is just like the rest of us. Whether you saw Marco Luciano during spring training, in a minor league game this season or just through highlights, you see how advanced the Giants' top prospect looks for someone who just turned 20 years old this month. 

"Marco, he just stands out when you go to the game -- his presence and how athletic he is," Bochy said Wednesday to 95.7 The Game's Damon Bruce. "I saw him in San Jose, he's gone up to Eugene since, but the kid's got some special tools. Shortstop with pop, power -- he's just got the look.

"He's a man. He's a man amongst boys." 

Bochy now is in his second year as a special advisor for the Giants following his retirement as San Francisco's manager after the 2019 season. While he admittedly has enjoyed his time off and focusing more on family and fishing, the legendary manager has bounced between different minor league affiliates. 

And the Giants made sure Bochy took a long look at Luciano. 

For how impressive his build and physical maturity is, it's actually Luciano's maturity at the plate at such a young age that has impressed Bochy the most early on. 

"What's really impressive are his at-bats," Bochy said. "This guy's got some discipline at the plate. He's wired a little bit different, very calm. He's got a good plan at the plate.

"He's got a nice future ahead of him, he really does."

 

Luciano spent his first 70 games of the season in Low-A West with the San Jose Giants. He slashed .278/.373/.556 with 18 home runs and .930 OPS. Luciano also had 68 strikeouts and 38 walks in San Jose. 

But those numbers have taken a massive dip since being promoted to High-A West at an extremely young age. In 36 regular-season games for the Eugene Emeralds, Luciano hit .217 with one homer and a .577 OPS. He struck out 54 times and walked 14 times.

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There still is some good news behind those numbers. Yes, Luciano struck out 167 times between the two levels. He also increased the number of pitches he saw per plate appearance from 3.94 to 4.05 after his promotion. People like Bochy see beyond the strikeout numbers and look at the at-bats as a whole. 

Keep your Luciano stock. Players at his age with his kind of bat speed and power don't come around often, no matter what position he plays down the road.

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