The San Francisco Giants are players yet again in the International Free Agent (IFA) market signing talented, 16-year-old shortstop Marco Luciano.
In addition to this, the San Francisco Giants have also signed Luis Matos and Jairo Pomares.
Normally, teams cast a wide net by adding as many IFA prospects as possible. However, the Giants went in a different direction. Their strategy was to add a few, high-upside prospects instead. Luciano is the headliner from this class.
The Giants have not been able to dip much into the IFA market in recent years. This is due to blowing past the IFA bonus pool allotment in 2015 to sign Lucius Fox. With more money available to spend this July, the Giants went big on Luciano.
Luciano is the second best-rated prospect from this July signing period. He will receive a $2.6 million signing bonus. Additionally, the Giants had enough remaining to splurge on Matos and Pomares as well.
Luciano has a lot of fans in the Giants front office including Brian Sabean and John Barr. Evidently, the Giants have been scouting Luciano for a while now:
Luciano is 6’2″ and 180 pounds. He has an athletic frame, and there is plenty of room for him to grow. Even with his current frame, Luciano displays exceptional game power. In fact, power appears to be his strongest tool.
With the addition of Lucciano, the San Francisco Giants are loading up on power bats. Lucciano joins Joey Bart and Heliot Ramos as the key, power-hitting prospects in the Giants system.
In addition to this, Luciano has a solid hit tool. This may be what separates Luciano from Bart and Ramos. Luciano’s hit tool is receiving a 55 grade from multiple international talent evaluators.
From a defensive standpoint, Luciano is a shortstop, and the Giants believe he can stick at shortstop. This does not impact Brandon Crawford in any way. However, if Luciano cannot stay at shortstop, he is athletic enough to become an outfielder.
Ultimately, the San Francisco Giants made their big splash. This is not their first time. They spent heavily on Angel Villalona, Rafael Rodriguez, Gustavo Cabrera, and Lucius Fox in previous years.
However, none of those players are with the Giants anymore. Fox is the only one from that list playing organized baseball.
Hopefully, the Giants got this one right, so we can see Lucciano’s power at AT&T Park in a few years.