When I was in middle school, around 7th grade, my dream was to become the shortstop of the Milwaukee Brewers.
To realize this dream, I played for my local little league and on the middle school baseball team. But neither team decided to place me at shortstop, third base was as close as I’d come, and I often joked that I batted leadoff because the coach wanted to get rid of the automatic out. By 8th grade, my dream was truly dead.
Orlando Arcia, I’m sure, never had this disappointment and is just beginning to see his dream become a reality. He’s this week’s: Sky Sox Spotlight.
When Milwaukee Brewers prospects are brought up, Orlando Arcia’s name is usually the first to be mentioned. Signed as a 16 year-old out of the Dominican Republic, he’s been steadily climbing the proverbial prospect rankings and the literal organizational ladder ever since.
He’s ranked as the Milwaukee Brewers #1 rated prospect by every major outlet and is ranked as 8th best prospect in all of baseball by Baseball America, the 6th best prospect in all of baseball by MLB.com, and as the 12th best prospect in all of baseball by Baseball Prospectus.
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As an 18 year-old playing for the Milwaukee Brewers’ A team, the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, Orlando Arcia struggled at the plate. He finished the year with a .251/.314/.333 slash line. However, he had an unlucky .268 BABIP.
The following year, in high A, he batted .289/.346/.392, and added 30 stolen bases. He was just coming onto the scene as potential everyday player for the Milwaukee Brewers.
By 2015, Orlando Arcia was in AA Biloxi, which is where he truly had his breakout season. He slashed an impressive .307/.347/.453, hitting 8 HR’s and stealing 25 bases, to go along with his impressive defense.
For the Colorado Spring Sky Sox, he’s slashing .291/.329/.404 to date. He’s added 4 HR’s and 9 stolen bases. But it’s his defense that’s consistently earning him high praise.
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FanGraphs had this to say:
"He possesses the skills to be one of the better defensive shortstops in the league. A quick first step gives him great range, and his soft hands and quick release extend his range further than expected with his raw speed. He has above-average arm strength, with the ability to throw on the move and at every angle bumping his throwing grade into plus territory."
Orlando Arcia is certainly major league ready now–especially defensively–but the Milwaukee Brewers are able to not rush him, due in part to the emergence of Jonathan Villar. And as long as he’s hitting well at the major league level, there’s no need to call him up prematurely. But it wouldn’t be surprising to see Orlando Arcia at the big league level as a September call-up this year.
Next year, I would guess, is when the Milwaukee Brewers will pencil him in as the everyday short stop, potentially moving Jonathan Villar to 3rd or 2nd.