Two weeks after giving the salutatorian speech at his high school graduation and 12 days after making Hernando County history, Christian Arroyo is headed to the pros.
The Hernando shortstop signed with the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday, bypassing a scholarship at Florida to begin a professional career with the team who chose him 25th overall in the amateur draft.
Arroyo tweeted: "Proud to officially be a San Francisco Giant. Time to get to AT&T park ASAP and win a ring! Thanks for the support #SFgiants"
According to Baseball America, Arroyo signed for the slot value of $1,866,500. Earlier this week, Arroyo flew to Arizona, where the Giants have their spring training facilities.
Arroyo soared into the first round after starring this spring to become Tampa Bay’s top draft pick and Hernando County’s first-ever first-round pick. He was the Times’ all-Suncoast player of the year after batting .524 with 35 RBIs and ranking among the state’s leaders with 11 home runs. He also shined at shortstop to lead the Leopards to the Class 5A, District 7 championship and the region final.
The Florida Dairy Farmers named Arroyo their Class 5A player of the year and the runnerup as the state’s Mr. Baseball.
Although some pro teams wondered whether Arroyo’s 6-foot-1, 185-pound frame projects better at catcher than middle infielder, the Giants plan to keep him at shortstop. Baseball America listed Arroyo as its No. 102 draft prospect, and ESPN ranked him No. 99.
Arroyo had planned to study engineering at UF.