Giants use No. 25 pick on high school shortstop

Barr on Arroyo: 'We've been watching him since last year'

Giants use No. 25 pick on high school shortstop
June 6, 2013, 6:45 pm
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Brian Sabean's scouts liked what they saw from high school shortstop Christian Arroyo. (AP)

SAN FRANCISCO – Shortstop Christian Arroyo is good at crunching numbers, and not just sabermetric stuff.

Arroyo, the Giants’ first-round choice with the 25th overall pick, was salutatorian of his high school class in Brooksville, Fla., with a 4.4 GPA. His best subject was AP Calculus.

“I’m a huge math geek,” Arroyo said.

You need some skill with numbers to compile a .524 average, .554 on-base percentage and gaudy 1.019 slugging percentage, as Arroyo did at Hernando High School north of Tampa. He also was MVP of the Team USA under-18 club that won a gold medal in the World Championships in South Korea. And no matter where the Giants saw him play, he made hard contact.

Although Arroyo wasn’t projected as a first-round pick, he hit every time the Giants scouted him. He’s their first high school position player taken with their top pick since Tony Torcato in 1998.

“We’ve always seen him swing the bat,” said Giants scouting director John Barr, crediting Mike Metcalf’s reports and also supervisor John Castleberry as well as special assistant Ed Creech.

“He is probably versatile enough to play other positions (but) we’re looking at him as an up the middle player who’s an offensive player,” said Barr, calling Arroyo’s bat his best tool.

His brain is a pretty good asset, too. The same could be said for the Giants’ second-round pick, third baseman Ryder Jones from Watauga HS in North Carolina. He’s committed to Stanford.

Arroyo has a verbal commitment to the University of Florida and said he’s fine with either signing or going to school. The Giants expect to sign him, although they did not have a pre-draft arrangement.

This marks the first time since 1974 that the Giants have used their top two picks on high school position players. (It was Terry Lee and Kenny Kolkhorst the last time.)

Arroyo, 6-foot-1 and 180 pounds, doesn’t hit for much power but shows tremendous bat speed and the Giants believe he will be capable of more than just gap power. He’s not a burner and his overall blend of tools reminds somewhat of Joe Panik, the Giants’ first-round choice in 2011.

Like Panik, Arroyo was seen as something of an overdraft. His first-round selection capped off an eventful week. He also graduated and he met his teenage half-brother, Julian, for the first time in his life.

“Right away, it was like I’m his big brother -- no awkwardness,” Arroyo said. “It’s been a crazy week.”

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