Make no mistake, the SF Giants have a shortstop problem going into 2024

While the SF Giants are looking at the biggest names in free agency, trouble could be brewing in the middle of their infield.

Jul 31, 2023; San Francisco, California, USA; San Francisco Giants shortstop Marco Luciano (37)
Jul 31, 2023; San Francisco, California, USA; San Francisco Giants shortstop Marco Luciano (37) / Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports
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With Brandon Crawford's tenure with the San Francisco Giants finally coming to an end, the Giants find themselves in need of a shortstop for the first time since 2011. While most of the attention this offseason has been on whether or not the Giants will finally be able to lure a big name like Shohei Ohtani, Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Jordan Montgomery, or even Cody Bellinger, San Francisco faces a decidedly uncertain future at one of the most important positions on the field.

The good news is that they have an immensely talented young player in Marco Luciano that is the early favorite to fill the Giants' void at shortstop. Signed out of the Dominican Republic back in 2018 for $2.6 million, Luciano quickly became one of the Giants' best prospects thanks to his quick bat and easy raw power. However, there are enough concerns about Luciano in the long-term that should have Giants fans concerned about their shortstop situation going into next season.

If Marco Luciano isn't the Giants' shortstop of the future, what happens next?

For all of the upside that Luciano has at the plate, there are some real questions about his ability to reach that upside. Luciano hasn't posted an OPS higher than .817 in the minors since 2019 and his .223/.334/.442 line in 2023 between Double-A and Triple-A leaves a lot to be desired especially when you factor in an alarmingly high strikeout rate in Triple-A and in the big leagues. Having the kind of power and bat speed he has doesn't matter all that much if he isn't making contact enough and his struggles this offseason down in winter ball doesn't inspire a ton of confidence.

Arguably the bigger problem is that even if Luciano hits the way the Giants want him to, he probably isn't best suited to stick at short. His 14 game cameo appearance in the big leagues went okay for the most part, but there are a lot of outside observers that don't think he has the range or quickness to be a good defender there with third base or a corner outfield spot being a better fit. If indeed that does turn out to be the case, the Giants could be in some trouble.

San Francisco doesn't have any internal options at shortstop beyond Luciano, or at least ones that are going to be ready anytime soon. Even if the Giants were inclined to move Luciano off short and sign somebody, this free agent shortstop class is pretty abysmal unless you squint your eyes and are really bullish that Tim Anderson can turn back into his former self.

MLB.com's Maria Guardado correctly pointed out that it is possible that guys like Willy Adames and Tommy Edman could be available in trades, but both of those guys have some shortcomings at the plate and the Giants don't need anymore offensively-challenged position players.

Right now, it looks like the Giants just have to hope that Luciano works out and again, he absolutely has the talent to be San Fran's shortstop for years to come. However, there is a real chance that things could go south there next season and it could cost the Giants dearly.

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