MLB.com Columnist

Bernie Pleskoff

Scouting profile: Christian Arroyo

Scouting profile: Christian Arroyo

Background
Middle infielder Christian Arroyo could have gone to the University of Florida after hitting .524 with 11 home runs and 67 RBIs as a senior at Hernando High School in Brooksville, Fla. It was his finest season as he compiled a career batting average of .436 with 102 hits in 77 games that included a .534 on-base percentage.

The San Francisco Giants actually surprised analysts by selecting the right-handed hitting Arroyo in the first round of the 2013 First Year Player Draft. In the second round that year, the team chose Ryder Jones, another high school infielder.

In the 2013 Arizona Rookie League, I was able to watch both first-round selections make their professional debuts. Arroyo and Jones were both outstanding, with Arroyo hitting .326 and Jones .317. Arroyo won Rookie of the Year honors in the league.

I mention both Arroyo and Jones because we have seen them play together on the same team in each of their first three seasons.

Arroyo is 6-foot-1, 180 pounds. He is playing now in the Arizona Fall League where I am seeing the growth and development in his game.

A thumb injury cost Arroyo some playing time in 2014.

Hitting
Arroyo is an offense-first player. He finished this past season at Class A Advanced San Jose with a .304 batting average. He hit nine home runs, the most in his career.

Arroyo is No. 2 among the Giants Top 30 Prospects. His high contact rate and sound mechanics at the plate have resulted in a career .348 on-base percentage.

Although he hits to his pull side with some frequency, Arroyo has a good knowledge of the strike zone and uses his good hand-eye coordination to barrel balls to all fields. He is well-balanced at the plate, getting his entire body behind his swing.

While his home run power increased this past season playing in the California League, it was his 28 doubles that solidified his excellent year.

Defense
Arroyo has always faced questions about his range at shortstop. Perhaps he doesn't have the smooth first-step quickness and range we see in many of today's shortstops, but he can handle the position as an average defender. The balance we see at the plate carries to his defense as well. He is working very hard on his footwork. He really doesn't make foolish mistakes transferring the ball from his glove, and he's smooth enough on the balls he reaches.

Arroyo has a strong and accurate enough arm to play any infield position. It is basically his lack of quickness that may limit him somewhat.

Strengths
Arroyo is a natural hitter. He knows his limitations. He rarely gets himself out with foolish mistakes, making the pitcher work by seeing pitches well and using patience and good plate discipline to his advantage.

Arroyo's instincts and agility are among his assets. He's a good athlete.

Weaknesses
While he did increase his home run output this past year, the hitter-friendly California League environment may claim a bit of the credit. It remains to be seen if he can duplicate that effort in a different playing environment. I do, however, feel his power will continue to develop, making his offense even more impressive.

I haven't seen much speed from Arroyo, and that fact may limit his defensive options.

I find this interesting
Arroyo took Advanced Placement calculus in high school and is a lover of math and science. He earned a 4.4 grade point average in high school. He loves video games and playing the drums.

The future for Arroyo
Arroyo has development time remaining at the higher levels of the Giants Minor League system. But he has work to do to define a specific defensive position. Will he stick at shortstop? Will he move to third base? Those are the questions that surround him. His bat will likely be loud enough to help the big league club.

Ultimately, once his defensive role is defined, we could see Arroyo in the Giants' starting lineup.

Arroyo in a word
Hitter

Bernie Pleskoff has served as a professional scout for the Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners. Follow @BerniePleskoff on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.