Top SF Giants position prospect promoted to Double-A

Marco Luciano
Marco Luciano / Dustin Bradford/GettyImages

The 2022 season has been up-and-down for Marco Luciano. The highly-touted 2018 international free agent and consensus best position player in the SF Giants system got off to a hot start at a level that he struggled with in 2021 but suffered an injury that kept him out of action for two months. Upon his return, Luciano was largely unable to replicate his early-season success.

Now, he's on his way up the ladder.

Luciano, it was announced Tuesday, was added to the roster of the Double-A Richmond Flying Squirrels as they began their playoffs in the Eastern League Division Series against the Erie Seawolves.

As shared by NBC Sports Bay Area's Giants beat writer Alex Pavlovic, The promotion extends Luciano's season so he gets more playing time, partially to make up for missing so much action in the middle of the season. Luciano also will probably start 2023 with Richmond after a solid year at High-A Eugene, so this gets his feet wet against tougher pitching.

The young shortstop began this season at Eugene after hitting just .217 with one home run in 36 games with the High-A Emeralds in 2021. Playing at just 20 years old until September, Luciano was tearing the cover off the ball with a .298 average, eight home runs, seven doubles and 17 RBI through June 1.

After going 0-for-5 with three strikeouts on June 3, Luciano disappeared from the box scores. Almost two weeks later it was discovered he had suffered a lower back strain.

Two months later, on August 4, Luciano suited up for one of the Giants' Arizona Complex League teams, and he spent eight games there before heading back to Eugene in mid-August.

Luciano's bat stalled in September

Luciano hit .265 with two homers in 10 August games with the Emeralds but dropped to a .125 average with no extra-base hits in seven regular-season September games. He did bat .231 with a homer and five RBI in three playoff games, helping Eugene win the Northwest League championship.

Occupying the designated hitter spot Tuesday in his first game with Richmond, Luciano had an RBI single in four at-bats.

Ranked as Baseball America's 17th-best prospect overall and the best in the Giants system entering the season, Luciano offers a tantalizing combination of hitting potential, well-above-average raw power and a solid glove and strong arm.