The San Francisco Giants have used their first round draft pick (the #25 pick overall) on high school shortstop Christian Arroyo.
Arroyo is a 6’1″, 185 pounder from Hernando High School in Spring Hill, FL. Arroyo put up huge numbers in his senior year at Hernando, batting .524 with 11 home runs while stealing nine bases.
The pick of Arroyo was a strange one, to say the least. The Giants already have a fairly young, talented shortstop at the major league level in Brandon Crawford, not to mention another shortstop, Joe Panik, in Double A who is considered one of the team’s most promising prospects. Things seemed to be setting up perfectly for the Giants to grab Ryne Stanek, who many considered to be the third best college pitcher in this year’s class. However, the Giants decided to do what the 24 teams ahead of them have done and pass on the Arkansas right-hander.
Adding to the confusion of the pick is the fact that virtually no one had Arroyo rated anywhere close to being a first round talent. Arroyo is nowhere to be found on either MLB.com or Baseball America’s top 100 prospect lists. While Arroyo is a shortstop in a draft class that is thin at the position, the pick still feels like a pretty big reach by the Giants.
Brian Sabean has a reputation for doing his own thing, and he’s not afraid to make a pick that goes against conventional wisdom. But in this case, Sabes may have outsmarted himself. While projecting what other teams might do is an inexact science at best, there is at least a decent chance that Arroyo would have still been available when the Giants picked again in the 2nd round. I’m yet to come across a single source that ranks Arroyo in the top 10 for draft-eligible shortstops, yet the Giants made him the 4th shortstop off the board.
Writing off draft picks before they ever even take the field is a good way to make yourself look bad later on. If Arroyo is better than we all thought and turns into a star for the Giants, then obviously this pick will be validated. But even if Arroyo is the guy the Giants seem to think he is, why not grab Stanek (or another pitcher) and use their 2nd rounder (#64 overall) to take their shortstop? It’s the type of move that reeks of a team trying to save a few bucks on their first round pick, but the Giants only pick twice in the first 100 picks, and it’s highly unlikely they’ll be breaking the bank in the 2nd round either.
Perhaps time will prove them right, but for now it seems like the Giants just made a pretty questionable decision.