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SF Giants prospects rundown 5/19: Marco Luciano’s 2-HR day

(5/11/21) Stockton Ports' Tyler Soderstrom left, is chased by SF Giants prospect Marco Luciano after Soderstrom overran first while trying to stretch a single into a double during a California League baseball game at the Stockton Ballpark in downtown Stockton. Soderstrom was out on the play but advanced a runner to third. (CLIFFORD OTO/THE STOCKTON RECORD)
(5/11/21) Stockton Ports' Tyler Soderstrom left, is chased by SF Giants prospect Marco Luciano after Soderstrom overran first while trying to stretch a single into a double during a California League baseball game at the Stockton Ballpark in downtown Stockton. Soderstrom was out on the play but advanced a runner to third. (CLIFFORD OTO/THE STOCKTON RECORD)
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SF Giants, SF Giants Prospects, Marco Luciano
(5/11/21) SF Giants prospect Marco Luciano chases Stockton Ports’ Tyler Soderstrom after Soderstrom overran first while trying to stretch a single into a double during a California League baseball game. (CLIFFORD OTO/THE STOCKTON RECORD)

SF Giants Prospects Rundown 5/19: Low-A

San Jose Giants 4 at Fresno Grizzlies 5
Performance of the Game: Marco Luciano (2-4, 2 HR, 1 K, 2 R, 3 RBI, E)

I mentioned in yesterday’s rundown that shortstop Marco Luciano (top-ranked prospect) had been heating up after a slow start to the season at San Jose. Then he came out on Wednesday and easily had his best performance of the year. In the top of the first, Luciano drove a fastball by Rockies 2020 third-round pick Sam Weatherly over the right-field wall for his second homer of the season.

Weatherly was an impressive collegiate arm during his three seasons at Clemson, striking out 106 batters in 72.1 innings. His ability to generate strikeouts has carried over to the professional ranks, and it was indeed a problem for San Jose. Weatherly struck out ten across five innings of work, but two of the Giants’ young hitters still tagged him for the long ball.

Abdiel Layer has come out of nowhere early in the season. Layer homered off Weatherly in the top of the fifth and now has four home runs in just six games. Given Layer’s experience, having never played above Rookie Ball before this year, it would be a surprise if he’s already prepared for a promotion. However, it’s hard to argue with his .304/.333/.870 triple-slash. Assuming Layer falls back to earth, he probably will not be playing his way onto the top of the organization’s prospect list but has quickly made himself another young infielder worth keeping an eye on.

A few batters after Layer’s homer, Luciano returned to the plate with a runner on base. He fell behind in a pitcher’s count but then drove a home run over the center-field wall for his first multi-homer game of the season. It’s easy to forget that the young shortstop is still 19. Weatherly will turn 22 in a couple of weeks, and Luciano still took him deep twice.

Wil Jensen has been an effective starter over three short outings at San Jose to start the season, but in his longest outing of the season on Tuesday (3.2 innings), the Grizzlies tagged him for four hits and a walk in his final inning of work. After walking one and surrendering just one hit through three shutout innings, things unraveled in the fourth and put the Giants behind. San Jose regained the lead in the fifth, but relievers Jorge Labrador and Justin Crump each allowed a run in the bottom of the fifth and sixth that proved to be the difference.

SF Giants Prospects Rundown 5/18: Clean MiLB Sweep. Next

We’ll be back with looks at the SF Giants farm system throughout the minor-league season with daily rundowns on the entire organization’s minor-league affiliates.

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