Marco Luciano

21-Year-Old ShortstopSS
San Francisco Giants AA
2023 Fantasy Outlook
Many were slow to adjust expectations on Luciano, even when he did his best in 2021 to show us that he was a future three-category masher, rather than a four- or five-category star. It was more of the same in 2022, although he was limited to 57 games at High-A due to a lower-back strain and a minor leg injury. Luciano's max exit velocity and 90th percentile exit velocity are elite, and while he will likely always have an elevated strikeout rate, his damage on impact should be sufficient for him to specialize in run production. If it weren't for Luciano's exit velocities, it would be pretty easy to project Matt Chapman caliber fantasy production at shortstop or third base, but there's still a chance he could be a notch above that level. A newly-added member of the Giants' 40-man roster, Luciano should spend most, if not all of 2023 at Double-A. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a $2.6 million contract with the Giants in July of 2018.
Shielded from Rule 5 draft
SSSan Francisco Giants  AA
November 15, 2022
Luciano spent most of the 2022 campaign with High-A Eugene, though he also joined Double-A Richmond for their postseason. The 21-year-old had a .263/.339/.459 slash line in 57 games at High-A and could keep advancing in 2023.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
For the first time since June of 2019, Luciano is not a top-15 prospect for dynasty leagues. He even climbed inside the top five a few times, but that exuberance appears to have been premature. The tool that has made him so appealing, 70-grade raw power, remains. The hope had always been that he could be an Eloy Jimenez type of offensive producer at shortstop (elite in four categories). However, it's looking less and less likely that he will be a positive contributor in batting average. He spent most of the year at Low-A, where he had the most success, and also got in 20-plus games at High-A and the Arizona Fall League. All told, he had a 27.8 K% and 11.0 BB%, but if we isolate his time at High-A and the AFL, he logged a 35.3 K% and 9.1 BB% in 232 plate appearances. Players have struck out at similar clips at stops along the way to the majors and gone on to have very productive big-league careers, but players don't strike out that often over a significant sample, even when young for a level, and go on to become superstars. Luciano won't help with stolen bases, and while he could still hit 35 homers annually at shortstop, it would be a relief at this point if it came with a .250 batting average.
Luciano was never going to debut in 2020, even in a 162-game season, but all of the public reports from the alternate training site and fall instructional league have been resoundingly positive. A video of him demolishing a home run with a 119 mph exit velocity in fall instructs went viral, and for good reason. In addition to it being a majestic display of bat speed followed by an 80-grade bat flip, that EV is in a range reserved solely for Giancarlo Stanton. While power will be Luciano's most prodigious skill, his walk rates and strikeout rates give little reason for concern. Unlike many middle infielders, Luciano probably won't be a threat on the bases, but he should be a four-category force. At 6-foot-2 and roughly 190 pounds, there have been questions about whether he can stick at shortstop, but the Giants are effusive of his ability to handle the position. He should assume the everyday duties in 2022.
Luciano continued the trend of the top July 2 international signees blowing up in their pro debuts, setting the AZL on fire as a 17-year-old before getting a taste of the Northwest League. His top tool is power -- he ranked third in the AZL in home runs (10) and fourth in SLG (.616). He should hit 35-plus homers in his peak seasons, even while playing half his games in San Francisco. Luciano also showed a keen eye at the plate. He was the fifth-youngest qualified hitter, yet his 15.2 BB% was the circuit's 11th-best mark. His swing is violent, but his elite bat speed and hand-eye coordination allow him to make consistent contact. While he stole nine bases on 15 attempts, he will probably only be an average runner by the time he fills out his 6-foot-2, 178-pound frame. He should continue to play shortstop for now, but may eventually move to third base or the outfield. Look for him to open the year at Low-A.
According to Baseball America, the top international prospects from the last four July 2 signing classes were: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (2015), Kevin Maitan (2016), Wander Franco (2017) and Luciano (2018). Guerrero is the top prospect in baseball, Franco is the odds-on favorite to enter 2020 as the game's top prospect, and Maitan is droppable in most dynasty leagues, so there are extreme examples on both ends of the spectrum. A very athletic 6-foot-2, 178 pounds, Luciano is a different type of prospect than those aforementioned top J-2 signees. There will be some swing and miss in his game, but the hope is that as he matures, he will settle in as a .270 or .280 hitter with huge power and enough speed to steal double-digit bases. He could end up at shortstop, third base or the outfield. Luciano is expected to be aggressively assigned to the AZL at the outset of his age-17 season.
More Fantasy News
Added to Double-A playoff roster
SSSan Francisco Giants  AA
September 20, 2022
Luciano is joining Double-A Richmond on Tuesday for their postseason, Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area reports.
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Moves past leg issue
SSSan Francisco Giants  AA
August 29, 2022
Luciano (leg) has gone 1-for-8 with an RBI while starting in both of High-A Eugene's last two games Saturday and Sunday.
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Dealing with leg tightness
SSSan Francisco Giants  AA
August 24, 2022
Luciano was removed from High-A Eugene's game Wednesday as a precaution due to leg tightness, Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic reports.
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Rejoins High-A Eugene lineup
SSSan Francisco Giants  AA
August 18, 2022
Luciano (back) will start at shortstop for High-A Eugene on Thursday after being reinstated from the 7-day injured list a day earlier, Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic reports.
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Begins rehab assignment in Arizona
SSSan Francisco Giants  AA
August 5, 2022
Luciano (back) started a rehab assignment in the rookie-level Arizona Complex League on Thursday, going 1-for-2 with a run and an RBI in his first game action since June 3.
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