Arroyo collects four hits for Flying Squirrels

Giants top prospect stays relaxed during strong Eastern League start

Christian Arroyo won an Arizona Fall League championship with Scottsdale last year. (Brian McLeod/MiLB.com)

By Alex Kraft / MiLB.com | April 9, 2016 12:50 AM

Before taking the field Friday night in Richmond, Christian Arroyo had to convince himself to calm down.

"Sometimes when I get a little antsy and I'm not seeing the ball well I'll start chasing," the Giants top prospect explained. "Tonight, I just tried to stay on my legs a bit, relax and just try to put some good swings on the ball."

A relaxed Arroyo collected four hits for the fourth time in his Minor League career, although Double-A Richmond dropped an 8-3 decision to Hartford at The Diamond.

"Offensively, I felt great," he said. "I was just trying to see some pitches, trying to shorten up my stride a little bit and kind of just see the ball."

The 20-year-old shortstop lined singles to right, center and left field before walking in his final plate appearance. MLB.com's No. 81 overall prospect is off to a solid start in the Eastern League, going 5-for-8 with a pair of runs scored in his first two games.

"It's always nice to start the year off well," Arroyo said. "Obviously, it's only two games in, so I'm just going to try and stick with this approach and stick with this game plan and ride it out as long as I can, and we'll see where the season takes it."

Arroyo batted .304/.344/.459 in 90 games a year ago with Class A Advanced San Jose in the hitter-friendly California League. However, arriving in Richmond forced him to rethink his approach.

"I think the biggest thing is obviously the pitching is going to be more advanced than in the Cal League," he said. "But for me and for my teammates as well, you just have to understand that where we're playing in Richmond is one of the harder places to hit. You've got to try and keep the ball out of the air if you're not a power guy like myself. You've just got to try and hit line drives because line drives always play in any field. For me, it's going to be just kind of hitting the ball low and seeing it stay below the lights because you're not going to get any cheap home runs here."

For the Florida native, playing on the East Coast carries the added bonus of seeing some familiar faces while he tries to tackle the next level on his climb to the big leagues.

"I really like the challenge of being in the Eastern League. I just want to come out here and play well and get out here and see what I can do against some higher level competition," Arroyo said. "I'm excited just playing at a new stadium with a new look on the East Coast again in which all my friends and family can watch, being I'm from Florida. I'm just really looking forward to getting better in all aspects of the game."

Giants No. 10 prospect Adalberto Mejia started for Richmond and yielded a run on two hits and a walk while fanning seven over five innings. Reliever Christian Jones (0-1) took the loss after surrendering six runs on five hits and a walk in the sixth.

Yard Goats reliever Carlos Hernandez (1-0) gave up a hit and fanned three over 1 1/3 scoreless frames. Right-hander Shane Broyles got the final four outs, striking out two, en route to his first save.

Rockies No. 3 prospect David Dahl singled and homered for Hartford.

Alex Kraft is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow and chat with him on Twitter @Alex_Kraft21. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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