Young Milwaukee Brewers shortstop Orlando Arcia clearly has a very bright future ahead of him. With his superb defense he is looking like he could be sitting atop the defensive rankings with Nolan Arenado, Manny Machado and all of the league’s top defenders very soon.
However there is one distinct difference between the three, Arenado and Machado have clearly developed their skills with the bat as well as the glove. This is only a big deal because Major League Baseball is focused on the idea that in order to be credited as a top defender, you apparently have to hit as well.
Arcia is only 22 years young and has plenty of time to mature with the bat, but some seem to be too ready to label him or shower him with boos every time the he struggles at the plate.
It can be frustrating to watch Arcia come up to the plate with runners on and fail to get the job done. On Tuesday night, we saw a perfect example of why we should take a deep breath, calm down, and encourage Arcia when he’s at the plate, rather than boo him.
Instead of jeering, fans should give him an “It’s okay,” or “Go get them next time,” when Arcia struggles at bat.
When you put him down it is only going to hurt his confidence, no matter how many times Bill Schroeder says “Arcia is one of most confident, young guys in baseball”. We all know as humans that emotion will set in and the less encouragement we as fans give, the more Arcia could struggle.
On Tuesday night in Toronto, Arcia made a brilliant play forthe first out of the game. The grace and poise that Arcia flashed at shortstop will be seen on highlight reels all week. When Arcia picked the baseball with perfect form and made an amazing 360-degree spin and threw on target to Jesus Aguilar, he showed the skillset that got him to the Major League level before his 22nd birthday.
That is the image that fans need to burn into their brains when he is at the plate. It’s jawdropping defensive plays like he made in Toronto on Tuesday which could end up saving important runs or helping the Brewers to earn a few more wins in the future.
If you need an example look at former backup catcher Martin Maldonado. He was not an offensive machine, unless you have him catch for seventeen innings, then he hits a walk off home run.
The point is that with his lack of offense, he made up for with his gold glove-worthy defense. It’s hard to know how important a player is to your team until you look at the bigger picture. Maldonado saved the Brewers countless runs with his cannon of an arm, but some fans swept that under the rug, and never accepted him because he could not hit.
This is not a mistake fans should make with Orlando Arcia. He is going to find his offensive stride, but until that time comes Brewers fans need to sit back and enjoy the defensive show that he brings to the park each and every night.
Remember to relax and show as much support as possible because in the long run, it will all pay off for the team and fans alike.