After not appearing in a game since June 3, clarity has emerged regarding the status of a top SF Giants prospect.
Top SF Giants middle infield prospect hits the injured list
Marco Luciano sustained a lower back strain that has kept him on the shelf for much of June.
The 20-year-old infielder began the season in High-A and has performed well, especially considering that he is playing against prospects much older than he is.
In 164 plate appearances, Luciano is slashing .288/.360/.507 (149 wRC+) with eight home runs, 17 RBI, and 22 runs. This includes a solid 9.1 percent walk rate against a 23.2 percent strikeout rate.
These are much better numbers than Luciano's first stint with the Eugene Emeralds last season in which he posted a .577 OPS with one home run and 45 strikeouts in 145 plate appearances. Despite this, the young infielder earned an invite to the Arizona Fall League (AFL) to play for the Scottsdale Scorpions.
The righty bat registered a .253/.356/.373 line with three home runs, 13 RBI, and seven runs in 78 plate appearances during the AFL. Luciano struck out in 35.9 percent of his plate appearances, but it bears mentioning that he was facing off against advanced competition.
Still, there were some concerns about his contact issues and he experienced a very modest slide in the preseason prospect rankings. Luciano has seemingly quelled any concern with a strong start to the season and continues to rank as one of the best prospects in baseball.
He is working out at the Giants facility in Scottsdale and is not expected to resume baseball activities for another two weeks. This means that Luciano will probably not return to the Emerald's lineup until the middle of July.
The Giants have been aggressive in rewarding top prospects with promotions if their performance merits it. They did so with Kyle Harrison at the end of May and Luciano might not have been far behind. That said, the middle infield prospect will return to Eugene where he has chance to finish the season on a high note.
In the AFL, the righty registered a .253/.356/.373 line with three homers, 13 RBI, and seven runs in 78 plate appearances. Luciano struck out in 35.9 percent of his plate appearances in the AFL, but it bears mentioning that he was facing off against advanced pitching.