SF Giants top infield prospect making a late push for the Opening Day roster

San Francisco Giants v Seattle Mariners
San Francisco Giants v Seattle Mariners / John E. Moore III/GettyImages

Marco Luciano's 2024 Cactus League season got off to a miserable start. However, the top SF Giants infield prospect has turned the corner and begun making a case for the Opening Day roster.

SF Giants top infield prospect making a late push for the Opening Day roster

The Giants brought in Nick Ahmed on a minor league deal to compete with Luciano for the starting shortstop gig. At first glance, it felt like Ahmed was in camp to compete for the utility infielder role but he has been one of the better performers in Giants camp.

This pushed the narrative from Ahmed being a utility infielder to him making a case to be the starting shortstop. Ahmed's strong camp coincided with a very slow start at the plate from Luciano.

While the Giants want to give Luciano every chance to be the everyday shortstop, they also want to make sure that he is ready for that role. One of the quickest ways to stall development is to shuttle a player to and from the minors.

When the Giants decide to hand the keys over to the 22-year-old infielder, they want to make sure he sticks. If he is not ready yet, that is fine, too. Luciano's game is still relatively raw in some sense given that he has missed time in recent seasons due to injuries.

In fact, the right-handed bat has only accumulated 320 plate appearances in the upper minors, most of which occurred in Double-A. While he still might be raw in some sense, his ability to make loud contact is not. Luciano displayed that trait on Saturday after blasting a mammoth home run in the Cactus League finale:

You just cannot teach that type of power. It has been a tale of two springs for the shortstop prospect. In the first half of of spring, Luciano struggled to make any type of contact. However, he has turned it around recently, recording a hit in five of his last six games. This includes one double and two home runs.

Will it be enough to break camp with the club? That remains to be seen, but even if he begins the year in Triple-A, that is okay. More minor league seasoning is not a bad thing nor is it an indicator of how the Giants view Luciano. However, whether he begins the year in Sacramento or San Francisco, there needs to be a consistent path to playing time. There is no sense in him starting the year on the bench with the Giants. He needs to start or be in Triple-A to get more game action.