Giants' Chapman confident Luciano can ascend defensively

Matt Chapman understands that, for some, it takes time and hard work to develop into a star shortstop.

In his eight-year MLB career, the Giants third baseman has had the privilege of witnessing firsthand the ascension of Marcus Semien into a Gold Glove Award winner, with the former A’s star then becoming a defensive mentor to Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Bo Bichette.

Speaking on 95.7 The Game’s “The Morning Roast” on Friday, Chapman discussed how he now sees Giants shortstop Marco Luciano, who currently is in a similar position to that of Bichette’s years back, eventually turning into a pronounced defender despite the outside critics and the big-stage errors.

“Luciano, obviously, is a super talented player, and he makes a lot of good plays throughout the course of the game,” Chapman said. “Obviously, you focus on the ones that he doesn’t make, especially if it’s in a pressure situation, a big situation.

“[For] a young player like that, sometimes it’s nerve-wracking when you get the ball in those big situations.”

On Tuesday, the 22-year-old, who is batting a .333 this season, made a run-scoring error with the bases loaded in the ninth in the Giants’ 7-6 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

For Luciano, who took over the reins at shortstop following Nick Ahmed’s wrist injury, performing at the plate hasn’t been an issue. But the same can’t be said about his defense, which has recently been a topic of discussion.

Despite the noise, Chapman is confident that Luciano will soon turn the corner.

“I think he’s going to be better for it,” Chapman said. “He does work hard. He’s out there trying to take ground balls. He’s out there trying to work and get better with our coaches.

“I think the more he makes those plays, the more confidence he gets. He’s just going to continue to get better. I think sometimes when defense isn’t natural for some guys it takes time.”

And if the young shortstop needs any mentorship, Chapman is willing to play the part, just like Semien once did with Bichette.

“It takes time and experience making those plays, making them at the highest level,” Chapman added. “So, for him, any questions he has for me I’m there to answer.

“I take ground balls with him. I pay attention and watch. And, obviously, everyone was there to pick him up after that one. I think he’s going to be better for it and will be better for it.”

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