A few years ago, Bryce Harper and Mike Trout began a youth movement that took Major League Baseball by storm. The Milwaukee Brewers began their own youth movement not too long ago. The Brewers young talent is proving that they belong in the next chapter of MLB Superstars.
When Orlando Arcia was promoted to the major leagues in August of last year, he was Milwaukee Brewers best prospect and a consensus top 10 minor league player in all of baseball. He didn’t burst onto the scene in his first big league action in 2016, but he’s doing that this year.
Arcia has been on a tear since mid-May, hitting over .350 in that time, and his overall average has risen almost 90 points.
He has recently been adding some power to his game as he now has eight home runs this year. Now that he’s begun to pull the ball more and hit to all fields, Arcia’s become a complete hitter.
Arcia is slashing .295/.334/.440 with eight homers, 28 RBIs, and 14 doubles. His RBI total is low but that’s because he is hitting low in the lineup right now. At some point, Arcia will get moved up near the top of the order because that’s where his bat belongs. He’s hitting too well right now to keep him at the eighth spot in the order. When he hits at the top of the lineup, that RBI total will increase.
He’s projected to finish the season with 15 homers. If Arcia can hit 15 homers a season, combined with a near .300 average, he’d be one of the top offensive shortstops in baseball. But his offense isn’t his calling card, it’s his defense. If you combine that offensive output with his Gold Glove-caliber defense, you have MLB’s next Superstar.
We’ve seen Arcia make the spectacular plays, we’ve seen him make difficult plays look routine, we’ve seen him do it all. He’s got the range and arm strength to make every play that comes his way. Arcia leads all NL shortstops in assists, putouts, and double plays turned. He also has the most range among shortstops and is the leader in Total Zone Runs with 13 runs saved so far this year.
Arcia ranks in the 95th percentile among all age 22 fielders in baseball history in Fielding Runs Above Average, which is impressive given the lengthy history of baseball and he’s only getting better.
He will win multiple Gold Gloves by the time his career is over and will be on countless highlight reels. Defensively, he is as advertised and his bat is coming around and he’s breaking out in 2017.
What the statistics can’t measure however, are his intangibles. Arcia’s likely the most mature 22-year old most of us will ever meet. He’s got his head on straight and he’s just having fun. There’s nothing the statisticians can make up to measure fun. Just watch him in between plays, in the dugout, chasing after foul balls and grabbing some ice cream, he just enjoys playing baseball.
He can hit the ball to all fields, he can make incredible throws, he can safely get out of rundowns and he is carrying the Milwaukee Brewers on his back. His combination of offensive potential and his high quality defense will make him a star, but what will make him a superstar?
It is his winning smile and winning personality to go along with a winning style of play that makes the Milwaukee Brewers keep on…winning. Arcia can handle the spotlight and he’s beginning to attract it, too. It’s that personality will launch him into super-stardom. Orlando Arcia is the future face of the Milwaukee Brewers. He may even become one of the faces of MLB because he is baseball’s next superstar. He’s proving that right now.
Arcia isn’t the next Derek Jeter, and he’s not the next Robin Yount. He’s the first Orlando Arcia and he is going to be MLB’s next Superstar. He may not get the national recognition until the Milwaukee Brewers make the postseason, but that could happen this year with the way this team is playing.
Brewers fans should enjoy Arcia’s career because he will put on a show every single night. Whether it’s a great defensive play, a clutch hit, or a friendly fan interaction, Orlando Arcia is baseball’s next big thing.