Monday, October 15, 2018
Sports

Hernando baseball standout Christian Arroyo puts major leagues on notice

This week marked the two-year anniversary of Christian Arroyo being picked by the San Francisco Giants in the first round of the Major League Baseball first-year player draft.

At the time, Arroyo had just graduated from Hernando High School and was committed to play for the University of Florida, unsure of when or where he would be selected to go as a professional.

The local standout caused a stir among draft experts when the Giants took him with the 25th overall selection.

"They confounded the baseball world by drafting high school infielder Christian Arroyo in the first round," according to the Giants' draft preview on MLB.com.

Arroyo first burst onto the national scene playing shortstop in the summer before his senior year when he was chosen for the U.S. 18-under national team and won MVP honors in the World Baseball Championship in South Korea. His performance (.387, 11 RBIs) helped end a 13-year drought for the United States in that age division.

In his first pro season, Arroyo led the Arizona League in runs scored (47), RBIs (39), doubles (18), and slugging percentage (.511). He hit .326 with two home runs in 45 games, leading to his selection as the rookie league's MVP.

In his second season, he competed in Class A ball. With the Salem-Keizer (Ore.) Volcanoes of the Northwest League, Arroyo hit .333 in 58 games with five home runs and 48 RBIs and was named an all-star before being promoted to the South Atlantic League. He completed his campaign with the Augusta Green Jackets.

"I just had to get used to getting into a routine and get used to playing a game every single day," Arroyo said. "I struggled in the beginning of the year, but I think that actually helped me out. I looked at last year as a very positive year in becoming a better player and a better person as well."

In 2015, he has spent the entire season with the San Jose Giants, a High-A affiliate in the California League. His impact has continued to silence doubters.

Playing both shortstop and designated hitter, Arroyo has hit .314 through 16 games, with two home runs and seven RBIs. He missed significant time earlier this season due to an oblique strain that led to a stint on the disabled list.

But with continued minor-league success, Arroyo could follow in the footsteps of current Giants second baseman Joe Panik. When the Giants took him in the first round of the 2011 draft, it was viewed by many as a poor choice as well. Analysts said he was a low upside college infielder, yet he has been one of the team's top hitters over the past two seasons.

Arroyo fits this same mold. Known for his bat coming out of high school, he was not seen as a blue-chip first-round prospect. His initial performances have proven the Giants correct.

Despite dealing with injuries, he is already in Advanced Single A as a 20-year-old and is showing the natural hitting skills the Giants saw two years ago. He is ranked as the No. 10 prospect in the entire San Francisco farm system.

Arroyo has shared the field with the likes of San Francisco World Series hero Travis Ishikawa and former Cy Young Award winner Jake Peavy, both on rehab assignments.

The experience has been eye-opening not only to Arroyo but to those who believe he could make an impact at the major-league level sooner than expected.

Comments
Sports Illustrated: Rays were baseball’s ‘most consequential’ team in 2018

Sports Illustrated: Rays were baseball’s ‘most consequential’ team in 2018

They won't win the World Series. And they didn't even make the playoffs.Yet, the Rays were baseball's "most consequential baseball team" this season, according to Sports Illustrated.The opener strategy first employed by the Rays presents "the biggest...
Updated: 22 minutes ago
‘Pucks had eyes’ for Lightning vs. Blue Jackets

‘Pucks had eyes’ for Lightning vs. Blue Jackets

TAMPA – Saturday, the Lightning made it look as if its first two games of the season never happened.Remember that  team that couldn't score more than one goal a game? It seemed all but a distant memory.The team that scored the most goals o...
Updated: 8 hours ago

Sports on TV/radio for Monday, Oct. 15

TODAYBaseball playoffsNLCS: Brewers at Dodgers7:30 p.m.FS1; 620-AMGolfLPGA Senior Championship4 p.m.GolfNFL49ers at Packers8:15 p.m.ESPN; 1040-AMSoccerUEFA Nations: Iceland vs. Switzerland2:30 p.m.ESPN2UEFA Nations: Spain vs. England2:30 p.m.Unimas...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Bucs-Falcons: Thrilling to the end, Jameis Winston’s return ends on a down note for Tampa Bay

Bucs-Falcons: Thrilling to the end, Jameis Winston’s return ends on a down note for Tampa Bay

ATLANTA — The last play of Sunday's 34-29 Bucs loss to the Falcons was a lot like the way Jameis Winston plays quarterback.It's a wild amusement park ride, adventurous and alluring, with thrilling peaks and painful pitfalls, the Mad Tea Pa...
Updated: 10 hours ago
DeSean Jackson bemoans missed opportunities in Bucs’ loss

DeSean Jackson bemoans missed opportunities in Bucs’ loss

ATLANTA — DeSean Jackson wasn’t looking forward to the film review of Tampa Bay’s third straight loss. He already knew the missed scoring opportunities would be the most painful part of the Buccaneers’ 34-29 loss to the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday. Too...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Why the Bucs never had a chance

Why the Bucs never had a chance

ATLANTA — You can watch every tantalizing frame of the final play of the game over and over again until make yourself sick at how close the Bucs came to pulling off a miracle.You can curse kicker Chandler Catanzaro for missing an extra-point th...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Bucs-Falcons: Grading Tampa Bay’s 34-29 loss at Atlanta

Bucs-Falcons: Grading Tampa Bay’s 34-29 loss at Atlanta

ATLANTA — Well ain't that a kick in the head?Not just the Bucs loss, although Tampa Bay fans are probably feeling mighty queasy right now. It's how the Bucs ended up losing. Two big kicks — one made and one missed — turned out to ha...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Bucs-Falcons journal: Game a tale of two halves for Tampa Bay defense

Bucs-Falcons journal: Game a tale of two halves for Tampa Bay defense

ATLANTA —  It was the tale of two halves for the Bucs defense, which needs to put down the shovels because it keeps digging first-half holes for the offense.Against the Steelers, they trailed 30-7 at halftime. Against the Bears, it was 38-...
Published: 10/14/18
Tampa Bay Buccaneers lose to the Atlanta Falcons, 34-29

Tampa Bay Buccaneers lose to the Atlanta Falcons, 34-29

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans (13) makes the catch against the Atlanta Falcons during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Amis) Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Cameron Brate (84) ma...
Published: 10/14/18
Bucs-Falcons roundtable: William Gholston’s penalty was Tampa Bay’s most costly play

Bucs-Falcons roundtable: William Gholston’s penalty was Tampa Bay’s most costly play

There were plenty of costly Bucs mistakes in the first half in Atlanta today:*Chandler Catanzaro's missed point-after kick.*Jameis Winston's interception on a deep throw to DeSean Jackson.*And on defense, where do we start? Here's the Times' Bucs cov...
Published: 10/14/18