Certain numbers understandably fuel fans’ enthusiasm for seeing shortstop Marco Luciano at Oracle Park as soon as possible.
There’s his 6-foot-2, 178-pound frame and his .322/.438/.616 slash line in the Rookie-level Arizona League in 2019.
There’s also the elite exit velocity—119 mph—he registered on a home run he launched off Rockies lefthander Ryan Rolison in an instructional league game on Nov. 1.
There’s one other number that should pump the brakes on the thought of Luciano reaching the majors in the near future: 19, his age.
“Luciano has a long way to go,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler said. “Nineteen is the calendar age, but he also is a teenager in his physical development and also is a teenager in his experience.”
Luciano’s inexperience showed in Cactus League play. He was 3-for-23 with 15 strikeouts and one walk.
Those struggles in spring training only slightly diminish the high expectations for Luciano. The Giants signed the Dominican Republic native for $2.6 million in 2018.
His impressive AZL stint came when he was 17. He followed that with a 7-for-33 cameo at short-season Salem-Keizer.
Known for his bat speed and power, Luciano spent last summer at the alternate training site in Sacramento, then went to instructional league.
Though he didn’t thrive in Cactus League games, Luciano did make a strong impression on Kapler and his staff.
“He’s represented himself very well, in particular, with his work ethic and with his physical tools, both at shortstop and at the plate,” Kapler said.
“His coaches love him for how hard he works. He has spent countless hours in early work sessions with our infield coaches and our hitting coaches. He has a lot of work to do, and we’re excited to see him get those reps.”
In early March, Luciano told reporters his goal is to reach the majors in 2022.
“I think it’s fantastic that that is Luciano’s goal,” Kapler said. “We support that type of ambition. It demonstrates competitiveness and confidence.”
For 2021, Luciano will take that competitiveness and confidence into his full-season debut.
— The Giants somewhat surprisingly optioned third baseman Jason Vosler to minor league camp on March 24. San Francisco signed the lefthanded hitter, who was a minor league free agent, to a big league contract in November. Vosler hit 20 home runs for Triple-A El Paso in the Padres’ system in 2019.