Giants' Marco Luciano Is A Well-Rounded Hitter With Power
“He’s got power to all fields,” Haines said. “He can hit fastballs. He can hit breaking balls. He can take walks when he needs to. He has a chance to be a very well-rounded hitter with power, which is so rare.”
Luciano displayed that offensive prowess as a 19-year-old last season with Low-A San Jose. He hit 18 homers in 70 games while batting .278/.373/.556.
That production earned Luciano a promotion to High-A Eugene in early August. Things did not go nearly as smoothly in High-A West.
Luciano hit one homer in 36 games and batted .217/.283/.295.
“That’s just what’s going to happen,” Haines said. “Development’s never just a straight upward climb. It’s ups and downs, and you look over the long haul and you know that there’s going to be growth at the end of the day.”
Luciano showed growth when Eugene won the High-A West championship series in four games against Spokane. He went 6-for-15 with a double, triple and homer.
The Giants signed Luciano out of the Dominican Republic in 2018. After he stormed through Rookie ball as a 17-year-old a year later—he hit 10 homers in 38 games—outside expectations grew to outsized proportions.
Haines said Luciano and catcher Joey Bart have endured similar external pressures.
“I think everybody’s so hungry for young superstars that they want it way faster than (how) it’s really going to happen,” Haines said, “and then I think the player ends up feeling the pressure as well. That’s where we have to step in.”
Luciano figures to return to Eugene this season.
As for Luciano’s defense, Haines said: “He’s not going to be Brandon Crawford. I don’t see that. Maybe I’m wrong. He might change everybody’s mind and win a Gold Glove and make us all look silly.”
Haines believes that if Luciano ultimately does move from shortstop, he could play any other infield or outfield position.