Saturday, December 27, 2014

DrB's 2015 Top 50 Giants Prospects: #4 Christian Arroyo

Christian Arroyo, SS/IF.  DOB  5/30/1995.  5'11", 185 lbs.  B-R, T-R.

2013 Rookie AZL:  .326/.388/.511, 18 2B, 5 3B, 2 HR, 9.1 BB%, 15.3 K%, 209 PA.
2014 Low A:           .203/.226/.271, 3 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 3.2 BB%, 17.6 K%, 125 PA.
2014 Short Season:  .333/.378/.469, 14 2B, 2 3B, 5 HR, 6.7 BB%, 11.6 K%, 267 PA.

Christian Arroyo was not on many radar screens as a baseball prospect until Kiley McDaniel correctly predicted that the Giants would make him their first round draft pick in 2013.  Arroyo was a HS SS out of Florida with fringy tools except for a really good hit tool.  When asked whether he could stick at SS, Giants management's answer was they thought so, but didn't really care.  He was drafted for his bat.

The bat certainly played in his first pro summer as he raked the Arizona League.  2014 took him to Augusta to start the season.  The Giants curiously moved him to 2B which was a bit sooner than a lot of people, including me, expected.  Even more curiously, the move to 2B seemed to be to make room at SS for Ryder Jones, who was drafted as a 3B.  Christian got off to a rough start in Augusta and later admitted that he was pressing due to high expectations.  He also was beset by a string of injuries including a thumb strain, thumb bruise and a case of the flu.  After some time off, he resurfaced in Salem-Keiser where he again lit up the league after a brief slow start.  He hit just .187 in June at S-K but then hit .359 in July and .364 in August, hitting .400 in his last 10 games.

So which is the real Christian Arroyo?  Probably somewhere in between, but I'm going to say closer to the Salem-Keiser version.  Mitigating factors in Augusta included adjusting to a new level, an extreme pitching-friendly environment, the move to a new position, the injuries and the pressing from high expectations.  As for level of play, the average age of prospects in the SAL is 21.5 vs 21.1 in the NWL, so virtually the same.  The NWL is definitely more hitter friendly than the SAL.

In a videotaped interview with Conner Penfold of Giant Potential, Arroyo comes across as a confident, intelligent young man who likes to talk.  He uses big words appropriately.  I am not sure if he will go back to Augusta or make the jump to San Jose for 2015, but I think he will do well and start to move up quickly in the organization.  It remains to be seen what his future position will be.  With Arroyo, you either believe in the hit tool or you don't.  I believe!

17 comments:

  1. There was some noise of them moving him straight to SJ instead of Augusta around this time last year. With the lack of 3B prospects maybe they try him there eventually. Arroyo is still one of the top ten youngest in the system, he won't turn 20 til May of next season. He's got time, and the bat should be for real.

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  2. I'll award Arroyo a top 5 ranking when and if he produces in A-ball or above. Sorry, but the "hit tool" has got to show up for me to believe. The part about expectations overwhelming him at Augusta makes me think the "head tool" has got to find traction too. Hopeful, but not top 5 yet.

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    1. Whoa there Shark; when every successful (and non-successful) major leaguer uses expectations, pressing, and "trying to do too much" as an excuse and an explanation for a bad month or 100 ABs, I'm going to give a pass to the 19-yo.

      This top-five/#4-spot ranking isn't about DrB being down on other players - it's about ceiling. Top pick IFer with the chance for an .800+ ops. That's a big deal if you believe in the hit-tool (as DrB dsyd he does).

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    2. KNV, seen too many guys hit big numbers in the <A leagues and then flail at A ball. And to me draft pick status doesn't earn much as a hitter after the first year if they don't produce of the field. Sorry, but seen too many #1s washout. I am hopeful for Arroyo but not over guys like Duffy who have proved out and crushed it at every level, expectations be damned.

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    3. In fact, the Debits here go beyond the ones on MCC, where Arroyo is the number 4 prospect, just as he is here with DrB. I think it's easy to see why a kid who sparkled so in his first year, after triumphing over the skeptics about his being a first-round choice, might have been first pressing, then slightly panicky his second year. He recovered extremely well.

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    4. MS: Most analysts are giving Arroyo props with the "head tool" due to his turning his season around. Maybe you should go talk to the Debbie Downers at MCC too!

      As for Duffy vs Arroyo, hard to know where to put Duffy. As I said at the beginning of all this, try to not get too hung up on the exact order of things which might be different had I finalized the list on another day. Hey, gotta stop shuffling names sometime and put the damn list out there! I like Duffy. I just think Arroyo's upside and draft pedigree still trump Duffy's proximity, but the Duffster has put up impressive numbers at every level, that's for sure.

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    5. DocB without malice, I think Arroyo will have turned his season around if and when he produces in A Ball. I am hopeful he can do this. Until proven out, I will remain clapping from bleachers rather than cheering from the dugout.

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    6. He did turn his season around in A ball already. Now, go talk to the Negative Nancies over on MCC.

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    7. Hmm….looks like your friends over at MCC voted Arroyo the #4 prospect also. Maybe they aren't such a bad bunch after all!

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    8. I do agree that none of this discussion makes any difference. It all comes down to what Arroyo does on the field. After he rakes at whatever level the Giants assign him to next year, we'll all be happy.

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  3. mlb clubs should start thinking seriously about keeping players from the dr from returning to their home country during the off season

    http://deadspin.com/starlin-castro-arrested-in-dominican-republic-after-nig-1675596404?utm_campaign=socialflow_deadspin_twitter&utm_source=deadspin_twitter&utm_medium=socialflow

    bacci

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  4. I've read the Giants think he can play SS and that people are not giving him enough credit for his 'quick twitch' abilities. We'll see.

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    1. The moves of Arroyo to 2B and Ryder Jones to SS at the beginning of the season in Augusta followed by the moves back to their original positions in S-K were, shall we say, curious?

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    2. I think that move right there had more to do with Arroyo's struggles than anyone realized. I thought so right from the start. You take a confident kid who just won rookie league MVP honors as a SS, put him in the toughest hitting environment in all the minor leagues (including the dreaded Eastern League), and replace him at SS with the kid you picked BEHIND him... that's a lot to put on a high school kid all at once. Not the best decision the organization has ever made, in my opinion.

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  5. I hope he goes to sj. He hit very well in sk, so might as well keep him moving with the other top guys. As a 3rd year pro, it's not too aggressive.
    Not much to gain in Augusta. If he hits well, it's like he's supposed to anyway.

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    1. i agree. I hope we see Arroyo in SJ. I think he can handle it.

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