Everything Adds Up As Giants Land Christian Arroyo

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Friday, 07 June 2013 05:02

SAN FRANCISCO—When prep shortstop Christian Arroyo tells you he understands advanced metrics, he isn’t just talking about sabermetric stuff like VORP and wOBA and oRAR.

Arroyo, the Giants’ choice with the 25th overall pick in the draft, was salutatorian of his high school class with a 4.4 GPA. And AP Calculus was his favorite subject.

“I’m a huge math geek,” Arroyo said.

He’s also a pretty darn good hitter, which is what enticed the Giants to make him the first high school position player they’ve taken with their top pick since Tony Torcato in 1998.

Arroyo hit .524/.554/.1.019 for Hernando High in Brooksville, Fla., located north of Tampa. He was named MVP of the USA Baseball 18-and-under club that won a gold medal in the World Championships in South Korea. And no matter where the Giants saw him play, he made hard contact.

“We’ve always seen him swing the bat,” said Giants scouting director John Barr, crediting Mike Metcalf’s reports and also supervisor John Castleberry as well as special assistant Ed Creech.

“He is probably versatile enough to play other positions (but) we’re looking at him as an up the middle player who’s an offensive player,” said Barr, calling Arroyo’s bat his best tool.

His brain is a pretty good asset, too. The same could be said for the Giants’ second-round pick, third baseman Ryder Jones from Watauga High in North Carolina. He’s committed to Stanford.

Arroyo has a verbal commitment to Florida and said he’s fine with either signing or going to school. The Giants expect to sign him, although they did not have a pre-draft arrangement.

This marks the first time since 1974 that the Giants have used their top two picks on high school position players. (It was Terry Lee and Kenny Kolkhorst the last time.)

Arroyo, 6-foot-1 and 180 pounds, doesn’t hit for much power but shows tremendous bat speed and the Giants believe he will be capable of more than just gap power. He’s not a burner and his overall blend of tools reminds somewhat of Joe Panik, the Giants’ first-round choice in 2011.

Like Panik, Arroyo was seen as something of an overdraft. His first-round selection capped off an eventful week. He also graduated and he met his teenage half-brother, Julian, for the first time in his life.

“It’s been a crazy week,” Arroyo said.

What are the odds of all those things happening? Well, maybe Arroyo could do the math on that.

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