How Giants prospect Marco Luciano has impressed manager Gabe Kapler

Dalton Johnson
·3 min read

The mind of a sports fan is simple yet complex. They demand wins in the now, however, they can't help but dream of who their favorite team's future star will be. 

For the Giants, it could be an 18-year-old powerful shortstop who already is making noise in Summer Camp as the major league roster preps for the upcoming 60-game season.

Catcher Joey Bart creates quite the buzz as he appears to be right on the cusp of the bigs despite Buster Posey still being entrenched as the Giants' everyday catcher. But it's Marco Luciano who seems to have true superstar potential. The Atlanta Braves have Ronald Acuna, who made an instant impact at 20 years old, and the Giants only can hope Luciano soon can do the same in San Francisco. 

On Sunday, Luciano, who is on the Giants' 60-man roster, gave coaches a glimpse of what the future can hold

"Kind of taller -- little lanky still -- not fully mature in the lower half, but incredibly twitchy," Giants manager Gabe Kapler said Monday on KNBR's "Tolbert, Krueger & Brooks" show. "Incredibly athletic and rangy to both his left and his right. In the batter's box, high level of comfort and confidence."

Oracle Park can be a nightmare for hitters at times. It's one of the biggest ballparks in baseball and the San Francisco weather can huff and puff its way to keep the ball in the yard. Not many hitters have their way with this pitcher's paradise. 

Don't tell that to Luciano, though. 

"As a teenager, driving balls out of this ballpark, making this ballpark look small -- and quite frankly, I've known this ballpark a long time and it's pretty impressive to see how he stacks up with mature major leaguers at this point in his development," Kapler said. 

[GIANTS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Luciano, who played all of last season at only 17 years old, hit .322 with 10 homers and a 1.055 OPS in the Arizona Rookie League. He then finished the year with the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes before being shut down with a leg injury. 

Wherever you look, Luciano is one of the Giants' top prospects along with Bart and Heliot Ramos. Some outlets even have him as San Francisco's best young player in the farm system, and it's easy to see why. Players with his kind of power and potential at such a young age don't come around too often. 

Kapler also wants to make sure expectations don't become unrealistic for Luciano. 

[RELATED: Three interesting observations about Giants' 60-game slate]

"There's reason to be excited about him," Kapler said. "Now the one thing I'll say is, it's not unusual to see very athletic, very talented, young players come through minor league systems. I think he's more talented than most, but at the same time this is a game that's about performance through the minor leagues and he's somebody to keep an eye on, certainly somebody to be especially excited about and he's got a ways to go in his development." 

There won't be a minor league season this year. Instead, Luciano will continue to develop in Sacramento after the MLB season begins. But for now, he'll just keep impressing in San Francisco, giving the Giants more of a reason to dream.

How Giants prospect Marco Luciano has impressed manager Gabe Kapler originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area