The talent in the depths of the Mariners' farm system is compelling. There's the big fish of the 2023 amateur international free agency cycle, Felnin Celesten toiling his wears in the Dominican Summer League (DSL), speedy outfielder Kay Robles, and power arms Kendall Meza and Jeter Martinez. One rung up the ladder in the Arizona Complex League (ACL) includes a dynamic duo of outfielder Laz Montes and infielder Michael Arroyo.
This week's spotlight shines directly on Arroyo, the Mariners' 11th-rated prospect. The team signed the then-seventeen-year-old third baseman to a $1.3M contract. According to Prospect Live's Joe Doyle, the label scouts threw around was "pure hitter" in the mold of Howie Kendrick. Arroyo probably settles at second base soon, especially if he forgoes the typical hot corner power profile approach.
Offensively, Arroyo brings elite bat-to-ball skills along with a discerning eye. While most of 2022 DSL peers ran strikeout rates in the high 20's, Arroyo displayed the ability to dominate the zone (27 BB/33 K). Additionally, he uses the entire field, with a third of his 48 hits going for extra bases.
Numbers in the lower levels don’t necessarily hold much weight because the Mariners, like most MLB teams focus on the process. Can the player spoil pitchers’ pitches, do they avoid expanding the zone, and do they punish the pitches in the zone. In the case of Columbian sparkplug, Arroyo, the answers are yes, yes and yes.
Arroyo played a starring role in his first stateside game last night notching two hits, stealing a base, and driving in a run. If he continues to show patience at the plate a top a dynamic ACL Mariners’ lineup, Arroyo could find himself a Modesto Nut by season’s end.