Giants’ Aeverson Arteaga Is More Than A Slick Defender

Aeverson Arteaga hit .270/.345/.431 for Low-A San Jose in 2022, his first full pro season. He hit 14 home runs and tied for the California League lead with 35 doubles.

Not bad for a 19-year-old shortstop known mainly for his defense.

“When you talk about good glove men at shortstop,” Giants farm director Kyle Haines said, “sometimes you’re sacrificing something with the bat it seems, but with him, he shows the offensive upside.”

Listed at 6-foot-1, 170 pounds, Arteaga also displayed that offensive upside in the Arizona Complex League in 2021. The righthanded batter hit nine homers in 56 games while slashing .294/.367/.503.

“While he’s not a power hitter,” Haines said, “he does a nice job at mixing singles, doubles and the occasional home run, combined with really good defense.”

Arteaga’s glove and arm were two reasons the Giants signed Arteaga, a native of Venezuela, for a reported $1 million in 2019. Cal League managers agreed, voting him best defensive shortstop and best infield arm in 2022 Best Tools voting.

“He’s one of those guys who loves to play baseball in general, and he loves to play shortstop,” Haines said. “He’s got good hands. He has plenty of arm from the hole and he plays the game with a lot of confidence . .

“For the person who likes to see the good actions, they’re going to like him, but he also makes all the routine plays.”

Haines is bullish on Arteaga’s future but said that the shortstop’s performance will dictate how fast he advances to San Francisco.

Making more consistent contact is one area in which Arteaga could improve. He struck out 155 times in 122 games this season and his 27% strikeout rate was seventh highest among Cal League qualifiers.

“As long as he doesn’t fall in love with the home run total and is fine hitting a bunch of doubles and playing a good shortstop,” Haines said, “he’ll be a very nice major leaguer for a long time.”

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