Last night the San Francisco Giants promoted their best prospect, infielder Christian Arroyo, to the major league roster. He debuted in the starting lineup as the third baseman, going 0-for-4 with a strikeout against the Los Angeles Dodgers. He was off to a blistering start in Triple-A, where he hit .446 in 16 games for Sacramento. Here’s a quick profile.
The Giants drafted Arroyo in the first round in 2013 from high school in Brooksville, Florida. At the time he projected as an advanced contact hitter with high batting averages and moderate power and that’s exactly how he turned out. He hit .304/.344/.459 in High-A in 2015 and .274/.316/.373 in Double-A in 2016, the latter slash line being better than it looks on the surface due to the league/park context. As noted he was mashing Triple-A before his promotion.
Arroyo ranked first on the pre-season 2017 San Francisco Giants Top 20 prospects list with the following commentary:
1) Christian Arroyo, INF, Grade B+/B: Age 21, first round pick in 2013; hit .274/.316/.373 with 36 doubles, three homers, 29 walks, 72 strikeouts in 474 at-bats in Double-A; draws constant praise for swing mechanics, doubles power, and general heady play; hit .315/.348/.438 on the road last year, just .224/.278/.294 in difficult home park; long-term should be a .280ish hitter with doubles power; aggressive and could stand to draw more walks but he makes hard contact on pitches other hitters miss; arm and range fit better at third base than shortstop, has also played well in limited looks at second base; ETA 2018.
The pre-season report remains valid although the ETA has been moved up.
He is an aggressive hitter who doesn’t draw many walks but he makes contact on everything. While his walk rate is low, he demonstrates good knowledge of the strike zone and is not a wild hacker. He will flash some pull-side power on occasion but is capable of hitting to all fields, working with what the pitcher gives him and lashing singles and doubles.
Arroyo started at third base last night but played second, third, and shortstop both last year and this year in Triple-A. He is fundamentally sound and what he lacks in pure tools he makes up for in polish. His range is a bit limited for regular duty at shortstop but he’s reliable at all three positions.
Arroyo doesn’t turn 22 until May so he still has plenty of development time on the clock. Projection systems see him as a .250-.260 hitter right now, though long-term I think him capable of .280-.300 averages. He should show more power in time, but his low walk rate will make his OBP very dependent on his batting averages.