If it isn’t baseball season, then it’s prospect season.
To help whet the appetite of Giants fans on Jan. 13, Baseball America helpfully released its rankings of the organization’s top 10 prospects, beginning with a surprise. The usual No. 1 prospect (and top-20 prospect in baseball), Joey Bart, is not the front-runner.
Instead, a youngster who has the potential to be a No. 1 prospect in baseball has claimed the top spot. Marco Luciano, at just 18, already looks like he could be the future of the franchise.
The shortstop from the Dominican Republic made the leap after thoroughly dominating his first season stateside, posting a combined .302/.417/.564 slashline with 10 home runs in 216 plate appearances in time in the Arizona Rookie League and Low-A Salem-Keizer.
Luciano, whom it took $2.6 million for the Giants to land in the 2018 international class, is a five-tool talent who is still quite far away, but comes with all the potential that young stars like Ronald Acuna Jr. have been touted with.
Bart, the No. 2 prospect and No. 2 pick in the 2018 draft, is coming off an injury-plagued sophomore minor league season in which he fractured his left hand and, in the Arizona Fall League, fractured his thumb. He’s expected to be healthy as he enters spring training next month as a non-roster invite.
“This is more reflective of a jump from Luciano than a slide from Bart,” Baseball America’s Josh Norris wrote in a chat. “Luciano is a prodigy and should be very highly ranked in the 2020 Top 100.”
The rest of the top 10 shakes out hitter-heavy, with only two pitchers making appearances, Seth Corry (7) and Sean Hjelle (9). The list reflects an organization that has hope for the future but a shortage in the near term, with many of the jewels of the system at least a year away.
Here’s the full list:
1. Marco Luciano, SS
2. Joey Bart, C
3. Heliot Ramos, OF
4. Hunter Bishop, OF
5. Alexander Canario, OF
6. Luis Toribio, 3B
7. Seth Corry, LHP
8. Luis Matos, OF
9. Sean Hjelle, RHP
10. Mauricio Dubon, SS