SAN FRANCISCO -- Having achieved ultimate success with their leading Draft picks, the Giants hope to repeat history if and when infielder Christian Arroyo and right-hander Tyler Beede, the team's representatives in MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 Prospects list, reach San Francisco.
Arroyo and Beede were San Francisco's first-round selections in 2013 and '14, respectively. Among their more illustrious predecessors as Giants No. 1 picks are right-hander Tim Lincecum (2006), left-hander Madison Bumgarner ('07) and catcher Buster Posey ('08), who contributed heavily to the team's World Series titles in 2010, '12 and '14. The club remains a solid contender, creating the possibility that Arroyo and Beede could give San Francisco the push it needs to regain championship status when they mature as Major Leaguers.
The annual ranking of MLB's Top 100 prospects is assembled by MLBPipeline.com Draft and prospect experts Jonathan Mayo, Jim Callis and Mike Rosenbaum, who compile input from industry sources, including scouts and scouting directors. It is based on analysis of players' skill sets, upsides, proximity to the Majors and potential immediate impact to their teams. Only players with rookie status entering the 2017 season are eligible for the list. Players who were at least 23 years old when they signed and played in leagues deemed to be professional (Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Cuba) are not eligible.
Arroyo's 2016 statistics with Double-A Richmond weren't stunning, reflecting his drop from No. 79 to 89 in the Top 100. But he's just 21, so his ability is more intriguing than his results. Experts rave about Arroyo's hand-eye coordination and his compact swing, which would seem to leave him impervious to slumps. Arroyo likes to swing the bat, accounting for his meager total of 89 walks in four seasons. He did draw a personal-high 29 walks last year, indicating that he's gaining a modicum of patience.
"I see him as a line-drive hitter capable of using the whole field," said Andy Skeels, the Giants' coordinator of Minor League hitting.
Through 2015, Arroyo played primarily shortstop. But Brandon Crawford's emergence as one of the top Major Leaguers at that position led the Giants to try Arroyo at third base, which appears to be his likeliest home in the Majors. He started 48 games there last season, as well as 48 at shortstop and 19 at second base. Evaluators have said that he lacks a shortstop's range, but his hands and reliable throwing arm should make him an asset at third.
Beede demonstrated enough skill to rise to 88th from 99th on the Top 100 list. He led the Eastern League with a 2.81 ERA and ranked second in the league with 135 strikeouts at Richmond last season. As is the case with most developing pitchers, Beede still lacks Major League consistency. Improved conditioning helped him recapture the lively fastball he possessed as a collegian at Vanderbilt, following a slight dip in velocity in 2015. However, the Giants would like to see Beede, 23, add strength to his 6-foot-3, 210-pound frame.
When big league camp opens next month in Scottsdale, Ariz., Beede might initially join the contingent of starters competing for the fifth spot in the Giants' season-opening rotation, though he's more likely to begin the season with Triple-A Sacramento. Once he establishes command of his secondary pitches -- his curveball and changeup -- he'll probably advance to San Francisco sooner than later.
"I think he feels like right now that if his name's called, he's going to be there for a while," Giants Minor League pitching coordinator Bert Bradley said.
Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.