Another day, another eye-raising Marco Luciano comparison.
Midway through his first big league spring, the 19-year-old phenom already has drawn comparisons between Alex Rodriguez, Carlos Correa and Fernando Tatis Jr. Now, we can add two-time MLB All-Star Xander Bogaerts to the list as well.
Luciano is the Giants' top prospect, but his allure spreads far past the organization. The national buzz surrounding the esteemed infielder is continuing to grow, according to ESPN MLB insider Buster Olney.
"He reminds evaluators I've spoken with of Xander Bogaerts of the Boston Red Sox," Olney said Friday on KNBR's The Mark Willard Show. "Which is a really nice comp, because you're talking about someone in Bogaerts who is a great athlete, a great body. Guy has been an All-Star, he's someone who can hit."
Luciano is MLB Pipeline's No. 16 overall prospect, and it's expected he can crack the top 10 as early as this summer. However, the shortstop has yet to play above the rookie-ball level in the minor leagues. A canceled 2020 Minor League season surely didn't help, and even though Luciano gained some major development with the Giants' alternate site last summer, he still remains a ways away from a call up to Oracle Park.
"Having lost a year of development last year, he still needs to play a lot of games," Olney said.
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The Giants estimate Luciano being ready for the Majors around the end of the 2022 season at the earliest, with 2023 looking more likely. However, San Francisco is obviously high on their top farmhand, and a prospect of Luciano's potential and projection is one that a team can build a future around.
That's exactly what the Giants appear to be doing, too. San Francisco is expected to make a major push in free agency next offseason, with names like Freddie Freeman, Kris Bryant, Francisco Lindor and Corey Seager headlining a monstrous free agent class.
For now, Farhan Zaidi and the Giants will take it slow with Luciano, and continue to build up other prized top prospects like Joey Bart, Heliot Ramos and Hunter Bishop. And while he'll need time, if Luciano can show he can be the heavy-hitting star shortstop of the future like the team envisions, the Giants likely will be rivaling the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Diego Padres atop the National League West in a couple of years.
In the meantime, it looks like the Luciano comparisons are just getting started.