Giants' Arroyo has monster day at plate in AFL
Club's No. 2 prospect goes 4-for-5, homers, drives in three runs in Scottsdale win
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Christian Arroyo is opening eyes in this year's Arizona Fall League.
The Giants' No. 2 prospect notched his sixth multihit game of the season on Friday afternoon, going 4-for-5 with a three-run home run, a double and four runs scored as Scottsdale trounced Mesa, 12-1.
Arroyo now has hit safely in eight straight games for the Scorpions, while the four hits he collected Friday improved his batting average to an AFL-best .447 through nine games. The 20-year-old shortstop also has scored nine runs and tallied nine RBIs in that span.
"I feel great," said Arroyo after his team's decisive win. "I'm just trying to see pitches and stay within myself. Coming out here you're facing a lot of really good pitchers, and, for the most part, they're all around the zone. So I'm trying to hone out an area and put a good swing on that pitch."
Arroyo struck out swinging in his first at-bat on Friday but bounced back to collect hits in his next four trips to the plate, with his final two knocks -- a single and double, respectively -- coming on the first pitch of the at-bat.
"I've always been an aggressive hitter," he said. "I don't like to be too picky -- if I see a first-pitch fastball down the middle, I'm going to try to put a good swing on it, because sometimes that's the best pitch you're going to see in an at-bat."
A first-round Draft pick in 2013, Arroyo is fresh off strong regular season in the California League in which he batted .304/.344/.459 with 39 extra-base hits, 48 runs scored and 42 RBIs in 90 games for Class A Advanced San Jose. The right-handed hitting shortstop showed considerably more power during the second half, hitting seven of his nine home runs as well as 19 doubles in 63 games.
Arroyo's late-season power surge has now carried into the Fall League, where he's swatted three home runs and two doubles through his first 38 at-bats.
"I think it's a mixture of everything," said Arroyo when asked about his uptick in power since the All-Star break. "It's definitely a product of experience, just knowing now that you're not at a level where guys are going to throw you fastballs or breaking balls down the middle of the plate.
"I never try to hit home runs," he added. "I just try to see a pitch up that I can drive, and if I get it and create the right angle and get good backspin on it, then it'll go."
Meanwhile, Arroyo's success at the plate this fall has allowed him to focus on improving his defense, which, for a young shortstop, is a never-ending process.
"Defensively, I'm always working on my footwork and always trying to get quicker," he said. "I'm always working to get my arm in the right slot so I can throw from different angles, and I'm also always working on my backhand and first-step quickness."
Arroyo wasn't the only Scottsdale hitter to have big game on Friday.
Clint Frazier, the Indians' No. 2 prospect (No. 35 overall), was responsible for Scottsdale's first run of the game, connecting on an impressive opposite field home run -- his third of the Fall League -- in the bottom of the third inning. The 21-year-old outfielder finished game 1-for-3 to improve his season average to .356, and he also scored two runs scored, worked two walks and picked up his third stolen base.
Giants No. 13 prospect Mac Williamson also blasted a home run for the Scorpions in the win, connecting on a booming three-run shot to right-center field two batters after Frazier jumped the yard. After finishing the 2015 season with the Giants in the Major Leagues, Williamson is batting .389 in the Fall League with a pair of home runs and six RBIs.