Arroyo living up to prospect hype in spring

Arroyo living up to prospect hype in spring

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Christian Arroyo's bases-loaded, two-run single in the Giants' three-run, seventh-inning rally Monday against the A's was almost predictable.

Arroyo, the Giants' top position-player prospect, began torching Spring Training pitching last year, when he hit .556 (10-for-18) with two home runs and six RBIs. He's 3-for-4 this spring.

"Mechanically, he's very solid," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said, evaluating Arroyo's swing, after San Francisco's 5-4 Cactus League loss. "He has a good foundation, good balance. He doesn't try to do too much. The bat stays in the [hitting] zone a long time. He uses the whole field well."

Nevertheless, Bochy added, Arroyo almost surely will open the season with Triple-A Sacramento. Though the 21-year-old has made 1,527 plate appearances in four Minor League seasons, he was drafted out of high school and can benefit from more seasoning, according to many observers.

Arroyo, rated 89th among baseball's top 100 prospects by MLBPipeline.com, also excelled defensively Monday. Though his future with the Giants is likely as a third baseman, he substituted at shortstop and went deep into the hole in the ninth inning to snare Bruce Maxwell's grounder and throw him out.

Worth noting
• Bochy said that third baseman Eduardo Nunez, who's hampered by a sore right shoulder, might be able to start a game and play defense by the end of the week.

• Left-hander Will Smith, sidelined by inflammation in his throwing elbow, has begun playing catch on flat ground.

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.