With SF Giants fans having to say goodbye to Buster Posey after his retirement, a new era has come for Giants fans. Joey Bart will likely be tasked with most of the starting catching duties in 2022 and we will see if he can be a solid backstop.
The top two prospects for the SF Giants are Joey Bart and Marco Luciano. Will they be the future faces of the franchise going forward?
Brandon Crawford signed a two-year extension after a stellar 2021 campaign, but when that contract is up he may decide to retire as well. If and when that day comes, then Marco Luciano may well be the man they turn to to fill the large hole Crawford will lead at short.
Posey and Crawford have been two leaders and staples of the team for the past decade, but with one gone and the other potentially gone in a few years, we must wonder who the future faces of the franchise will be.
Bart and Luciano are the two most likely options. MLB.com ranks Luciano as the 5th best prospect in the MLB and Bart as the 16th best. We will see if they can live up to these high expectations, but it is important that we not compare them directly with Crawford and Posey for multiple reasons.
First off, it is abnormal to have two players as stable and consistently productive as Posey and Crawford on your roster for a decade. We cannot expect either of them to come in and be difference-makers in the way that Posey and Crawford were, albeit Crawford's help with the bat came later on.
Second, their minor league development has been stunted these past few years due to forces beyond their control. The pandemic of 2020 meant no minor league baseball, so guys like Bart and Luciano were forced to find other ways to continue to improve.
Now, due to the MLB lockout, prospects on the 40-man rosters lose development time as they cannot participate in organized practices that are taking place in the minor leagues. This is going to be a challenge for Bart, but one that does not affect Luciano.
In short, let's not rush to judgment on either player in these next few seasons. They both face the unenviable task of trying to follow two of the most successful and beloved Giants ever so we would do well to be patient and not demand immediate excellence.