Looks like he has been ranging to the left his whole life. Photo: postcrescent.com
As with my last article on this topic, I have no idea how to do this type of thing. Here we have a kid who was essentially purchased from the Dominican Republic as a 17-year-old, who missed all of his 2012 season due to an ankle injury, and was our starting shortstop for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers in 2013 (Class A, Midwest League). He is still a handful of years away from even being a serious candidate to make the major league squad as Jean Segura‘s backup. So, how am I supposed to project what this kid is capable of? When I was 19 years old, I once drank so much alcohol that I had to sleep in a bathtub (true story). Hopefully Orlando is smarter than me, but who can know for sure.
In 2011, Arcia busted onto the scene by having 64 hits in as many games in the Brewers Rookie league. The kid turned heads with his .294 batting average and .386 on-base percentage. There were plenty of people on the national scouting level who thought he could be the Brewers next great shortstop (remember this is pre-Segura). But then, disaster struck…
Before his 2012 campaign could even begin, it was over. Arcia fractured his ankle during extended spring training and would not return to the field that summer. Even though this was a set back, Orlando was not even legally an adult until August of that season anyway. They put a plate in that ankle to help it heal correctly and by all doctoral opinions, it was a success.
That brings us to the 2013 season, where Arcia did well but certainly not as well as his first season in the Brewers organization. Orlando was, to put it simply, average this season for the T-Ratts. His .251 batting average is fine, a .314 OBP is respectable enough, and his 20 stolen bases were good too. The problem is that he did nothing to set himself apart. Scouts love that he seems to have strong pitch recognition skills, but that is only useful if it can translate to your AB’s.
On defense it is the same story, just a different chapter. The kid made plenty of errors, but turned a sizeable amount of double plays (79). Many scouts call him a “plus-plus defender”, which means he has soft hands and a strong arm (both evident by those double play numbers). So…there’s that.
So many articles on Arcia talk about his “raw talent”. I hate that phrase, it is insanely vague and provides you with no insight into what a player can do. My wife eats raw honey on her english muffin, I have no idea what that means either.
Here is my projection on Orlando Arcia:
"He is young, untested, and has yet to really grow as a baseball player. If he is given time and reps, he could certainly grow into a serviceable middle infielder. Other than that, I have no idea what he will do."
I am sorry if this is horribly disappointing, but it is the only comment I can make in good conscience about a kid who is younger than ‘The Simpsons’. Plus, I am not to worried about our middle infield depth at the minor league level. Jean Segura and Scooter Gennett are going to be a dynamic duo over the next 4-5 seasons. THAT is a projection.