UPDATE (1:45pm PT on Monday: The Giants announced the signing of 11 international prospects, including #2 rated prospect Marco Luciano.
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SAN FRANCISCO - The Giants didn't waste any time getting back into the top of the international market.
After two years of mandated reduced spending because of the signing of Lucius Fox, the Giants once again scooped up one of the best teenage prospects available on July 2, the sport's international signing day. According to Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com, the Giants signed Marco Luciano, a 16-year-old outfielder from the Dominican Republic ranked No. 2 on MLB.com's list of available international prospects. Luciano will get $2.6 million, per Sanchez.
A right-handed hitter, Luciano is listed at 6-2, 178 pounds, and is known as potentially the best hitter available in this year's class.
MLB.com's scouting report says his hit tool and power project to be above average. "The athletic Luciano is known for his bat speed and all-around quick twitch ability," per the report. "He hits line drives into the gaps and can also hit the ball over the fence with authority. Luciano is not the prototypical swing-and-miss power hitter and projects to be a solid middle-of-the-lineup hitter."
The Giants have had little success in the international market over the years, and Fox, who was supposed to change all that, was sent to Tampa Bay in the Matt Moore trade. But the organization has an impressive new facility in the Dominican Republic and vice president of baseball operations Brian Sabean has talked repeatedly over the past year about the importance of finding players internationally.
In addition to Luciano, Sanchez reported that the Giants gave No. 27 prospect Luis Matos $725,000 and also gave $975,000 to Cuban prospect Jairo Pomarez. Both are outfielders.