The more often Christian Arroyo produces solid offensive numbers in spring training, the more impatient Giants fans get. Once again, GM Bobby Evans is telling you to slow down.
"I think that with him, you want to get exposure with Triple-A before you look at him at the big league level," Evans said Tuesday on KNBR.
"But I will say at some level if his performance continues to show us that he's not that far away -- the challenge is you really don't want to put him in a position where he's a part-time player at the big league level at 21 years old, you want him coming up to be an everyday guy."
Through Tuesday, Arroyo, 21, is hitting .286 in 12 games of big league camp this spring. Last year, the young infielder turned heads as he hit .556 with two home runs in 13 games with the major league club during spring training.
No matter how hot Arroyo gets at the plate this spring, the Giants are sticking with their plan to start the prospect in Triple-A with the Sacramento River Cats. But, that doesn't mean Arroyo can't still find a way to San Francisco in 2017.
"He might be a guy this season if there's an injury or there's an opportunity with somebody struggling and there's an opportunity with everyday at-bats, then you make that call and bring him up," Evans said. "But you probably at least give him some time in Triple-A to start the year."
What Evans is hoping for more than anything with increased time in the minors is improving Arroyo's mental side of the game. The bat is the there and so is the versatility as the natural shortstop has shown the ability to also play third and second base. When Arroyo does come up, the Giants want him to have already faced adversity and learned to quickly bounce back. If he doesn't first continue improving these traits, his confidence can come crashing down.
"You just want guys to experience the challenge of the higher levels in the minor leagues, so when they come up, when they do struggle or have difficulty, they can rely on the fact that they're where they need to be at the right point in time," Evans explained. "And if they come up too soon and struggle, they might have doubt that they really shouldn't be there."
Looking at a sample of success in the Cactus League simply isn't enough for Evans. Arroyo must complete his path to the majors and show sustained success at the highest level of the minors.
"I think for us the more assurances we can give themselves as well as ourselves that he's ready ... 25 or 30 at-bats into spring training don't necesarily tell us that, but if he gets 100 at-bats in Triple-A and the opportunity is still there, then bring him and let him go and turn him loose."
Arroyo batted .274 with only three home runs, but 36 doubles, in Double-A for the Richmond Flying Squirrels in 2016. The Giants currently have Eduardo Nunez and Conor Gillaspie on the active roster, and Gordon Beckham, Aaron Hill, Jae-gyun Hwang, and Jimmy Rollins fighting for a roster spot as possible backup third basemen on minor league deals.