Ever since Christian Arroyo arrived in the Northwest League, he seems to have found his stroke at the plate. But these last six games, including Monday night's contest, have shown what the 19-year-old might be capable of, especially considering his first-round selection a year ago.
The shortstop has a six-game hit streak going, amidst a .323 average in 186 at-bats with the Volcanoes, in which the he has cranked out 11 hits. Remarkably, five of those 11 hits are doubles and two are home runs. Monday night's game gave him his fifth double and second homer in that stretch, along with three RBIs. His 40 RBIs in 44 games lead the team by a long shot.
It will be interesting to see what the Giants do with Arroyo, considering he began the season in Augusta and was essentially demoted after he rehabbed his hyperextended thumb for a month's time. The South Atlantic League has never been a place welcoming to young hitters. I don't think Arroyo will move anywhere else in 2014, but something tells me the organization might place him in San Jose to begin the 2015 season. I could see Arroyo as a Arizona Fall League candidate in October, and a stellar showing there might be enough to bump him to High-A next year.
Austin Slater picked up two more hits, bringing his total to 23 through his first 46 at-bats with the Volcanoes. The Stanford product has only struck out three times and drawn five walks. Don't expect Slater to provide a ton of power, but I would hope his doubles and triples count would increase eventually as 19 of his 23 hits have been singles. He led his Cardinal team in doubles and triples his final season.
As for Slater's placement in 2015: considering he will be 22, I definitely see him in a San Jose Giants uniform. Hitters that perform well in Salem-Keizer have generally skipped Augusta (i.e. Joe Panik, Mac Williamson, Brian Ragira).
Keury Mella made rehab start number two for the Volcanoes, throwing two scoreless innings with two hits and three punch-outs.
Other Notable Performances: Aramis Garcia blasted his first home run as a professional. His average is up to .333 since joining Salem-Keizer.
—Joan Gregorio, muck like Arroyo, struggled and then got injured, resulting in a rehab that turned into a demotion. He has been great, however, with the GreenJackets, including a seven-inning, one-run performance on Monday. He has a 2.65 ERA in nine starts and has struck out just under a batter per inning.
Top-20 Prospect Roundup
- Kyle Crick: DNP
- Tyler Beede: DNP
- Andrew Susac: DNP
- Adalberto Mejia: DNP
- Keury Mella: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K
- Ty Blach: DNP
- Clayton Blackburn: DNP
- Joe Panik: DNP
- Chris Stratton: DNP
- Aramis Garcia: 1-for-3, HR, RBI
- Steven Okert: DNP
- Luis Ysla: DNP
- Christian Arroyo: 2-for-5, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, SO
- Ryder Jones: DNP
- Mac Williamson: Out for season
- Derek Law: Out for season
- Kendry Flores: DNP
- Matt Duffy: DNP
- Joan Gregorio: 7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K
- Mike Kickham: DNP