Christian Arroyo finally found his match Thursday night in the Salt Lake Bees. For the first time in the 21-year-old's Triple-A career, he ended a game without a hit.
Arroyo, the Giants' top hitting prospect, started off the season with a 12-game hit streak. The streak ended with an 0-for-4 night in which he also struck out twice.
Despite the rough game, Arroyo not only still leads the entire Pacific Coast League in batting average at .442, he leads all of Triple-A as well, in 13 games with the Sacramento River Cats. Arroyo also ranks among Triple-A's leaders in OPS (second, 1.165), total bases (second, 36), hits (third, 23), on-base percentage (fifth, .473), and slugging percentage (sixth, .692).
With all of Arroyo's success to start the season, the Giants may actually be happy he ran into his first taste of adversity.
"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," Giants GM Bobby Evans explained before the season. "And if they come up too soon and struggle, they might have doubt that they really shouldn't be there."
Through only 13 games, Arroyo has already matched his home run total of three from last season. The PCL is full of hitter-friendly parks, but Arroyo is also showing power to all fields.
"From his standpoint, he's probably most proud that of his three homers," River Cats hitting coach Dave Brundage said to MiLB.com. "One's gone to center, one to left and one to right. That ability to hit to all fields is huge.
"Doing that is a benchmark. Base hits to right and left, line drives up the middle, it's all part of finding himself. That's who he wants to be."
Arroyo is a natural shortstop who has also played three games at second base this season and two at third base. While the Giants' fan base is begging for him to be the savior in left field, the Giants will not rush a prospect to the majors and force him to play out of position. If you do see him in left field on a River Cats lineup soon, it may be a joke and I apologize in advance.
Whenever Arroyo gets the call up to the bigs, and at whatever position that may be, Brundage trusts the Giants' front office.
"There's no set time table, no set position," Brundage said. "If he swings the bat, they'll find a spot for him. They always do."
Around The Horn
- Mac Williamson is off to a slow start in his rehab assignment in Advanced Single-A with the San Jose Giants. He went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts Thursday. Williamson has now played in two games and is 1-for-6 in those contests.
-Tyler Beede tossed his first scoreless outing in Triple-A on Wednesday. The 2014 first-round pick went 6 2/3 innings and only allowed three hits with four strikeouts.
-Kelby Tomlinson broke an 0-for-14 slump on Thursday. The utility infielder is struggling in Triple-A, slashing just .229/.288/.271 in 11 games.