Arias set to showcase skills in Spring Breakout

Giants' No. 6 prospect, 17-year-old outfielder striving to become five-tool-player

March 12th, 2024

PHOENIX -- When Rayner Arias began to emerge as a top amateur prospect in his native Dominican Republic, the teenage outfielder found himself being closely tracked by talent evaluators across the island.

One of them happened to be his father, Pablo Arias, a former pitcher in the Tigers’ organization who now works as a scout for the club.

“He even evaluated me several times,” Rayner, 17, said, smiling.

Rayner isn’t sure exactly what his dad penned in his write-ups, but the scouting report probably would have gone something like this: an electric right-handed stroke with plus power and an advanced hitting ability; an athletic 6-foot-2 frame; solid arm strength; and a high baseball IQ, a byproduct of growing up around the game.

Pablo may have been on Rayner’s trail before anyone else, though he ended up watching his son land with another organization in the Giants, who signed the younger Arias to a $2.7 million deal in January 2023. It marked the second-highest international bonus in franchise history behind only Lucius Fox's $6 million in '15.

“I wanted to go to the team that gave me an opportunity, and thankfully, I ended up here with the Giants,” Arias said in Spanish. “They were the team that believed in me.”

That belief has only grown following Arias’ promising showing in the Rookie-level Dominican Summer League, where he slashed .414/.539/.793 with four home runs and 21 RBIs over 16 games last year before breaking his left wrist on a diving catch in shallow center field.

Now healthy, Arias will get a chance to flash his tantalizing upside during the Giants’ Spring Breakout matchup with the A’s on Friday at Hohokam Stadium. San Francisco’s No. 6 prospect will headline an up-and-coming lineup that will feature another teen slugger in Bryce Eldridge, who’s been impressed by what he’s seen from the precocious Arias this spring.

“I don’t believe that kid is 17,” said Eldridge, the club’s 2023 first-round Draft pick (No. 16 overall) and No. 4 prospect. “He hits the ball like a 22-year-old. It’s pretty cool to watch him and see how he goes about it.”

Arias’ favorite player growing up was Mike Trout, though he’s most often compared to White Sox outfielder Eloy Jiménez due to his raw power. Still, director of player development Kyle Haines said he believes Arias is already proving that he’s far from a one-dimensional player at the plate.

“A lot of people want to talk about the power potential that’s there, and he really showed that he’s a quality hitter first, and not just this slugger-ish player,” Haines said. “I think he’s still going to fill out physically to maybe be able to slug someday, but I think he showed he’s got a really well-rounded approach, swings at good pitches and has an idea at the plate of what he’s doing.

“I think you can attribute that a lot to his family. His dad is a scout. You can tell his dad loves his career. You can tell that between him and his dad, they love the game, they know the game really well.”

Pablo climbed as high as Triple-A as a right-handed pitching prospect for the Tigers, but he’s doing everything he can to ensure Rayner can go even further and realize his own big league dreams in the future.

“He’s really helped me a lot,” Arias said. “He’s lived in the baseball world and the Minor Leagues, so he‘s putting me on the right path and making sure I don’t face the same challenges that he did.”

The Giants are already predicting big things for Arias, who could be a prime breakout candidate if he picks up where he left off from his injury-shortened 2023 campaign.

“I think everyone is aware of who he is, but I think a year from now, if he just goes out and does what he’s capable of doing, people are really going to see that he belongs, top to bottom, with any outfield prospect in the game of baseball,” Haines said.

“He’s capable of doing that. He’s got the skill set.”

For Arias, the main goal will simply be to stay healthy to make sure he has a chance to consistently show what he can do on the field.

“If I can stay healthy, I know good things will happen,” Arias said. “In baseball, you’re never fine. You always have to keep getting better. I’m working to improve in all areas. I don’t want to be a two-tool player. I want to be a five-tool player.”