Arroyo's ascension: top prospect to start with Sacramento

Giants GM Bobby Evans wants to take things slow with prized prospect

By Sacramento River Cats | March 16, 2017 3:27 PM ET

Christian Arroyo has been one of the main topics of conversation since being drafted by San Francisco in the first round of the 2013 draft.

The 21-year-old has impressed at every level including last Spring when he hit .556 with two home runs in 13 games, but Giants GM Bobby Evans has already determined where the infielder will start his 2017 campaign.

As Evans told KNBR in an interview Tuesday, "I think that with him, you want to get exposure with Triple-A before you look at him at the big league level".

Arroyo should be a regular in Sacramento's lineup, likely splitting time between shortstop and third base with appearances at second scattered in. His versatility is an important factor if he does get called up this season, as injuries and mid-seasons slumps are something every major league team faces.

"He might be a guy this season if there's an injury or there's an opportunity with somebody struggling and there's an opportunity with everyday at-bats, then you make that call and bring him up," Evans said. "But you probably at least give him some time in Triple-A to start the year."

Through 13 games this spring, Arroyo is hitting .267 with two RBIs and two runs scored while also being able to learn from veterans such as Jimmy Rollins, Aaron Hill and Gordon Bekcham.

Another important factor in Arroyo's progression is his ability to show mental resolve when he does struggle, a trait Evans wants the precocious infielder to demonstrate while playing with the River Cats.

"You just want guys to experience the challenge of the higher levels in the minor leagues, so when they come up, when they do struggle or have difficulty, they can rely on the fact that they're where they need to be at the right point in time," Evans explained. "And if they come up too soon and struggle, they might have doubt that they really shouldn't be there."

Starting the season in Sacramento and seeing how Arroyo fairs will be a much better gauge for Giants personnel as opposed to a handful of Spring Training plate appearances. "I think for us the more assurances we can give themselves as well as ourselves that he's ready ... 25 or 30 at-bats into spring training don't necessarily tell us that, but if he gets 100 at-bats in Triple-A and the opportunity is still there, then bring him and let him go and turn him loose."   

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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