Joaquin Arias Called Up

Joaquin Arias -- slick-fielding shortstop and banjo-hitting professional -- is joining the Giants in Cincinnati. From Henry Schulman:

In a little more than an hour, the Giants will announce they have purchased the contract of infielder Joaquin Arias from Triple-A Fresno. A corresponding move will be announced later in the afternoon related to Aubrey Huff, who left the team Monday morning and flew home for what has been described as a family emergency.

The Giants could place Huff on the seven-day personal leave list. If this is something more serious involving Huff himself, he could go on the 15-day DL.

The Huff news kind of weirds me out. As much as he's struggled, and as much as I've wanted Brandon Belt to start, there's certainly more important stuff in the world than baseball, and I'm wishing for the best for Huff and his family. Here's hoping that whatever's going wrong in his life right now is fixable.

As a special treat for y'all, here's the entry for Arias from Baseball America's 2005 Prospect Handbook, where he ranked one spot ahead of Ian Kinsler and five spots ahead of Adrian Gonzalez in the Rangers' system:

Arias will forever be known as part of the Alex Rodriguez trade. He reluctantly left the Yankees organization but settled in after a modest April to bat .300 or better in every month the rest of the way. Arias has superior athletic ability and premium tools in his long, wiry frame. He grades out as average or better across the board, with well-above-average speed and arm strength. While he made 40 errors in high Class A, the Rangers consider him a premium defender with good hands who can make the play in the hole.

Arias won't be a weak hitter, but he also won't be an animal. While he has some raw power, he's more of a gap-to-gap hitter. His game needs refinement, from making routine plays to having more quality at-bats and fewer giveaways at the plate due to poor discipline. The Rangers liked Stephen Drew, the top-rated position player in the 2004 draft, but say Arias has better tools, is two years younger, and has a better chance to play shortstop in the majors. He'll start 2005 in Double-A.

I'm ignoring the last seven years and treating this as gospel. Joaquin Arias: Probably not an animal! Which means he sure as heck isn't going to win friends with the Giants' marketing department. His agent needs to nickname him The Cuttlefish or something.

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