Evan McArthur’s senior season at Cal State Fullerton was hindered by hand and foot injuries, with an ankle fracture currently keeping him from playing in the San Francisco Giants’ minor league system. - Photo courtesy of Cal State Fullerton

McArthur faces delay in pro pursuits

Evan McArthur moved one step closer to realizing his dream of playing professional baseball recently, officially signing a contract with the San Francisco Giants on Monday.

While that process certainly was a long time coming for the former North Medford High standout, it wasn't completely fulfilling considering he signed knowing he probably won't play another inning this season.

An injury-plagued senior season at Cal State Fullerton has spilled over for the third baseman, leaving him in a walking boot and on crutches while his peers take the field these days in Scottsdale, Ariz.

"I was relieved just to finally get it out of the way and not have to worry about the (contract) particulars," McArthur said. "I can just go out and play now, or I guess I could if I wasn't injured again. That's the story of this year for me."

McArthur injured his left hand prior to the start of the collegiate season and played through the pain until he finally suffered a complete fracture of the hamate bone. He rushed his recovery to get back and help the Titans advance to the College World Series, but a recurring left ankle injury forced him out of action in Omaha, Neb.

What was believed to be tendinitis in his ankle turned out to be a fracture after undergoing an MRI.

"It makes sense now why it was so painful," said McArthur, 23. "I couldn't even walk on it. They had me on crutches after that."

And he's still on crutches to this day.

"It's really hot down here and it's not a lot of fun being on crutches," McArthur said of life in Arizona, "but I can't complain too much."

McArthur's deal with the Giants is your typical minor-league structured agreement, with a signing bonus and incentives added into the framework. The 6-foot-2, 195-pounder was drafted 344th overall in the 11th round.

McArthur said the team had a foot specialist look at his ankle to make sure the injury wouldn't be a chronic one, and that MRI already showed signs of healing. He expects to be re-evaluated in a couple weeks, but McArthur said the Giants haven't shown any sign of concern toward his recovery.

"I think they have some faith in me and see some potential in me," said McArthur. "I'm assuming that's the case anyway."

McArthur hopes to be healthy enough to take part in an invitation-only instructional league in September. If not, he said the Giants told him they would send him to a conditioning camp in January.

"Right now it's just about getting me healthy so they can evaluate me," he said.

McArthur batted only .247 this past season for the Titans, with 10 doubles, four home runs and 31 RBIs. He batted .303 last year while also providing standout defense on the hot corner.

The Giants drafted McArthur as a shortstop — a position he excelled at while with the Black Tornado — but he said all that will be worked out down the road.

"I think that's fine if they want me to move back," he said. "It's probably a quicker road to the big leagues if you master that position. Up the middle guys move quicker than the corners, but I'm not really worried about all that. I'm just looking forward to getting back out there (on the field) again."

Reach reporter Kris Henry at 776-4488, or e-mail

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