The San Francisco Giants are expected to have a new starting shortstop next season for the first time in over a decade. Brandon Crawford's contract is up, and the long-time Giants player will probably retire ahead of the 2024 season. Instead of finding Brandon Crawford's replacement in free agency or through a trade, one of San Francisco's top prospects is in line to fill the role.
“As we sit here now, we want to give Marco Luciano the chance to be the everyday guy next year,” Giants President of Baseball Operations Farhan Zaidi told reporters Tuesday, via Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area.
After the All-Star break, Luciano was ranked as the Giants' No. 2 overall prospect and their top position player in the minors leagues, according to MLB Pipeline. Luciano ranked No. 26 among all prospects in baseball. The 22-year-old made his MLB debut on July 26. He finished the season with 39 total at-bats.
Luciano hit .231/.333/.308 in his limited time with the Giants. He struck out at least once in 12 of 14 games. Luciano didn't exactly light the minor leagues on fire in 2023. In 74 games across Double-A and Triple-A, he hit .223/.334/.442. Luciano did hit 15 home runs.
Zaidi's comments don't mean that the Giants' starting shortstop job will be handed to Luciano. It's possible that San Francisco will bring in a veteran to compete with the rookie.
The Giants haven't had to find a new starting shortstop since 2012. After playing 66 games as a rookie in 2011, Crawford never missed more than 25 games in a season for 10 straight years. The veteran hit .194 in 93 games in 2023