by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
The San Francisco Giants entered play on Monday with the sixth lowest SLG in the league, at .361, and their 69 runs scored had them tied with the St. Louis Cardinals for the eighth fewest in the league. They were in desperate need for a shakeup, which is exactly what they did as they recalled Christian Arroyo from Triple-A. Considered one of the team’s best prospects, could he make an immediate impact? Let’s take a look:
Preseason – Giants 4th best prospect
Bats – Right-Handed
Age – 21 (turns 22 in May)
It’s been a great start to the season for Arroyo, though we all know the average isn’t sustainable (.481 BABIP). At the same time he’s showing growth in the power department, as he’s added 7 doubles after hitting 36 doubles and 1 triple last season. That doesn’t necessarily mean much, as it has come in the Pacific Coast League and easily could be construed as an aberration.
He’s also shown an ability to make consistent contact at both Double-A (13.9% strikeout rate) and Triple-A (11.6% strikeout rate), but doesn’t draw many walks (5.6% at Double-A, 2.9% at Triple-A). While he hasn’t had an issue at Triple-A, it’s all a small sample size and you have to wonder if Major League pitchers will be able to exploit his aggressiveness.
MLB.com’s scouting report envisions more power and walks in his future, if he can become a bit more patient, though it doesn’t believe his current approach is a negative:
“Arroyo is an extremely advanced hitter for his age, with outstanding hand-eye coordination that allows him to barrel balls repeatedly. He almost does so too easily, making so much hard contact that it cuts into his walk totals. Being more selective also would help his power totals, as he has the bat speed to produce 15 homers per season if he waits for pitches he can drive.”
There’s no question that he can hit, but there is going to need to be an adjustment. He also doesn’t bring much speed, so if the power isn’t quite ready to play and the strikeouts are going to rise there are going to be initial struggles.
Ultimately he could be a .290ish hitter with 12-14 HR annually, but he’s not going to be there yet. Think of him more as a .265ish hitter with single digit power and a handful of SB (assuming he sticks in the Majors for the rest of the season). There’s value and fantasy owners would be wise to own him just in case, but don’t expect immediate monster production immediately.
Current Grade – B
Upside Grade – B+
Sources – MLB.com, MILB.com, Fangraphs
Make sure to check out all of our 2017 Prospect Rankings: