Top SF Giants infield prospect could still be an option for 2023

Boston Red Sox v San Francisco Giants
Boston Red Sox v San Francisco Giants / Kavin Mistry/GettyImages

SF Giants fans briefly saw Marco Luciano earlier this season. The top infield prospect has been in the injured list for the past four weeks with a hamstring injury, but he could still be an option to help out the Giants this season according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Top SF Giants infield prospect could still be an option for 2023

Slusser confirmed on Friday that the 21-year-old prosect has been playing in instructional league games and is nearing a return from his rehab assignment. The Giants called up Luciano at the end of July where he tallied three hits in 11 at-bats across four games.

In his brief stint with the Giants, Luciano flashed the type of power that has made him one of the top prospects in baseball. It was expected to be a short-term promotion, so Luciano returned to the Sacramento River Cats. However, he sustained a hamstring strain in a game in early August and has been out since then.

It has been a nice season of growth for Luciano as he registered a .228/.339/.451 line (115 wRC+) with 11 home runs, 32 RBI, and 32 runs in 242 plate appearances with the Richmond Flying Squirrels before earning a promotion to Triple-A. This included a 14.9 percent walk rate against a 29.8 percent strikeout rate.

The strikeout rate was high but Luciano was doing a good job of working deep counts, but that can come with high strikeout totals. There is probably an adjustment that needs to be made but he has better contact skills than a 29.8 percent strikeout rate would suggest. That said, there will always be some swing-and-miss with his game due in part to the bat speed he generates.

With Sacramento, Luciano posted a .742 OPS in a small sample of 50 plate appearances before landing on the injured list. The Giants have struggled to muster any production out of the shortstop production, so Luciano could be the next in line if he is able to return to the field. Given his limited experience in Triple-A, it might be best for him to continue getting reps with Sacramento. Though, a little major league experience might not be such a bad thing for his development before the end of the season.