Each year, Baseball America lists the top prospects in all Independent Leagues. It’s a fascinating list, covering players who have been in the minor leagues before, and some players who haven’t.
Of course, ATVL combs the list each year for former Valley Leaguers, and this year, we hit pay dirt. BA’s #31 prospect (the article listed 35!) is former Covington Lumberjack Junior Arrojo (2008, 2009)!
Arrojo is one of those players who has not played affiliated ball. Undrafted out of Florida International, Junior signed with Florence of the Frontier League, and spent three years there (from 2011-2013). In 2014, he joined Rockland of the Canadian-American Association, and also spent some time in the Atlantic League (where he went 6-10 in 6 games). He has also spent 2015 and 2016 in Rockland.
So, to be named to this list, Junior hit 341/483/486 in 97 games and 346 at-bats. He scored 89 runs, scored 49, hit 20 doubles, 3 triples, 8 home runs, stole 47 bases (and was caught only 6 times), and had a rocking 62/55 BB/K ratio. No wonder he made the list!
Over his Indy ball career, Junior is hitting 293/422/382 in 532 games over 6 seasons. He’s stolen 175 bases with only 30 caught stealing in that time as well.
I’d love to see Junior get the same chance that Stephen Cardullo received from the Rockies in 2016, but in the meantime, he’ll have to be satisfied that he made Baseball America’s list!