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Arroyo, Scorpions take home AFL title

Giants prospect delivers in field, at plate, Twins' Walker plates three
November 21, 2015

With his 2015 playing season in the books, Christian Arroyo ended up with everything he wanted.

"I can't complain. It was great to play the six weeks and win out with this great group of guys. To win the championship means a lot," said the Giants' No. 2 prospect.

Arroyo went 2-for-5 with two runs scored and made two key plays at shortstop to help Scottsdale beat Surprise, 6-4, in the Arizona Fall League title game on Saturday. The Scorpions also got three RBIs out of the Twins' Adam Brett Walker, who was 2-for-4 with a double.

"It's great," said Scottsdale manager Matt Quatraro. "Any time you play, you want to win and these guys took that attitude to heart. We did it the right way. We didn't do it at anybody's expense. Everybody got to play, and everybody contributed."

Arroyo slashed .304/.344/.459 over 90 games with Class A Advanced San Jose in the regular season, and he helped that team reach the California League finals. In the AFL, he hit .308 with seven extra-base hits in 19 games.

The 20-year-old native of Tampa, Florida, scored in a three-run fourth after leading off the frame by reaching on a fielding error by Saguaros' first baseman and No. 12 Cardinals prospect Patrick Wisdom.

"We caught a couple breaks there, and it was definitely nice to get those first three runs across and get the little lead," Arroyo said. "We really got things rolling there."

The next inning, he singled and came around to score on a triple by 13th-ranked Giants prospect Mac Williamson.

"It was definitely fun, but the biggest thing is, it goes to show how the Giants organization does it," Arroyo said. "Mac played amazing -- the clutch RBI there, and just putting the ball in play and putting pressure on the defense."

He pointed out that San Francisco hurlers Ray Black and Phil McCormick combined for a clutch 1 1/3 perfect innings in the title game, and that although starter Adalberto Mejia and first baseman Austin Slater didn't play Saturday, they put together strong AFL campaigns. 

"We have a very good farm system. We develop players really well, and you saw we won some championships," Arroyo said. "Within the Giants organization, we all played well."

On the other side of the ball, Arroyo made a throwing error to allow No. 5 Royals prospect Bubba Starling to reach at the start of the fifth, but with nobody out and the bases loaded, he made up for it by turning a 6-3 double play.

"Obviously, with the first play of the inning, the ball sailed up a little bit," the 2013 first-rounder said. "I was just trying to get an out or two, and we got a big ground ball."

He also ended the game by making a sliding catch in foul ground up the third-base line.

"It's always cool to make the last out of a game," he said. "When I saw the ball go up, I didn't know if I was going to have a chance. I just slid and prayed a little bit, and I was glad we won."

Walker, who's Minnesota's No. 10 prospect, had an RBI single in the three-run fourth and doubled in a pair of insurance runs with two outs in the eighth.

"Man, what a great game for him. What a great kid," Quatraro said. "I can't say enough about him. When somebody like that has a good day, you really feel happy for him."

Arroyo agreed.

"That two-out double by Walker in the eighth was huge," he said. "At that point, I felt like we had a good chance to win."

No. 13 Twins prospect and Scorpions starter Taylor Rogers, who allowed two hits and struck out two over three scoreless innings, earned the victory.

Wisdom was 1-for-4 with a run scored for the Saguaros, and No. 18 Yankees prospect Dustin Fowler had two hits -- including a home run to lead off the bottom of the ninth.

Josh Jackson is a contributor to Follow and interact with him on Twitter, @JoshJacksonMiLB.