Giants’ Marco Luciano Eager To Return To Health, Success

Just a teenager in 2021 when he tore through Low-A with 18 homers and a .929 OPS in 70 games, shortstop Marco Luciano enters the 2023 season at age 21 still brimming with promise.

“The in-game power that he shows is pretty rare, especially for his age and position,” Giants general manager Pete Putila said. “I think that’s what sets him apart.”

Though Putila has been with the Giants for only a few months, he’s already familiar with one question that has been a part of the Luciano saga for the past few years: Can he remain at shortstop?

Putila answers in the affirmative.

“I think the physical tools are there,” Putila said, adding that he also appreciates Luciano’s “makeup, his desire to continue to honing his craft there. Those are two important factors.”

Listed at 6-foot-2, 178 pounds, Luciano is a righthanded hitter with power to all fields. The Giants signed the native of the Dominican Republic as a 16-year-old in 2018. He debuted in the Rookie-level Arizona League in 2019 and hit .322/.438/.626 with 10 homers.

The Giants assigned him to their alternate training site in Sacramento during the 2020 season when the minor leagues were shuttered. Luciano’s high profile might have led to excessive expectations.

“The Latin American players, because they sign at a younger age, I feel like they come under a little bit more scrutiny at a younger age than their domestic counterparts do,” Putila said.

Problems with his back limited Luciano to 65 games last season, primarily with High-A Eugene. He also played in eight postseason games for Eugene and Double-A Richmond before embarking on a stint in the Dominican League. 

More back trouble limited him to just five games for Estrellas. He didn’t play after Nov. 4.

Luciano told David Venn of the MLB Spanish-language site that as of Jan. 20 he had not set a date to return to hitting, but “I really do feel good and I’m working well to come back healthy.”

Said Putila in early February: “We’re confident he’s going to be back out there soon.”

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