Mid-Season Top 40 Prospects: #14

#14. Christian Arroyo – SS, 18 yo, R: Arroyo, a high school kid out of Florida, is the Giants’ newest first round pick. He broke a commitment to Florida, signed quickly and has made his debut in rookie league. In all honesty, you would like to see a new first-round talent rank somewhere in the top 5 or 10, but I just can’t rank him that high until we see what he offers. The prep shortstop was ranked 102nd on the Baseball America draft board, and the Giants grabbed him with the 25th overall pick. Any ranking (including mine) should be taken with a grain of salt, but I’m just not making the connection with this kid as a first round talent yet. Yes, he put up impressive numbers as a prep player (.524, 11 HR his senior year), but most scouts don’t project him to be a stellar professional hitter, or even a shortstop (he seems to profile better as a catcher).

I know my review of Arroyo may come off as negative, but I don’t want anyone to think I’m not excited to see how he performs – because I am. He’s just a bit riskier of a first round pick for the Giants, but there’s absolutely no reason a high school position player can’t develop over time just as Cain, Bumgarner and Wheeler did as first round prep pitchers. Arroyo is a kid who projects confidence, intelligence and leadership, and a steady performance in rookie ball this summer could have him moving up the list quickly.

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2 thoughts on “Mid-Season Top 40 Prospects: #14”

  1. You aren’t being negative, per se, you are being realistic. As my study of the draft showed, most first round picks are not likely to become good ballplayers, in fact, even the first pick overall has been less than a coin toss odds of becoming a good ballplayer. By the draft pick Arroyo was picked at, only about 10-11% of the picks in the last third of the first round turn out to be good players. The vast majority never even made the majors, let alone be a good player.

    If you go to his Perfect Game profile, he had been profiled as a possible high draft pick when he was younger, though to your point, he probably was not ranked highly nor was he mock draft picked for the first round at the time of the draft.

    I would note in support of the Giants that they have generally drafted prospects multiple rounds before they would be expected based on their BA 500 ranking, except for Top 10 picks, but even then Lincecum and Bumgarner weren’t expected to be selected until later. And if you look at their team, most of the players were either drafted/developed by the Giants or were acquired via a drafted prospect or were players jettisoned by their former team (like Casilla) as useless players.

    Also, John Barr has made his name for picking position prospects well (and Tidrow for pitching), and two major finds of his, Belt and Crawford, are established starters for the team.

    But as I noted, most picks this far back in the first round don’t usually turn out to be a good player, though a good number do at least turn out to be useful players. But that’s not what you expect from a first round pick, a useful player, you are looking for good starters. Unfortunately, they are hard to come by that far back in the first round. Heck, they are hard to come by after 5-10 pics overall (varies by amount of talent each season).

    1. Thanks for the comment! I guess I’m just a little gun-shy about prep position players. Was hoping they would draft Stanek from Arkansas, but I know the Giants aren’t a team who breaks away from the master plan, even when a higher ranked player is available. Here’s the one big thing in common with Posey, Crawford, Belt… they were drafted out of college. Have the Giants ever had a position player who they drafted out of high school become an impact player? I’m not including Pablo since he was an Int’l signing. I know the Giants’ drafting/scouting had a long cold spell, but I’m too young to know anything about that… maybe the Giants just don’t draft HS position players that high. Wendell Fairley is the last one I can think of. Am I off track?

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