Milwaukee Brewers shortstop Orlando Arcia found a lot of success during his second year in the league.
Overall, the numbers show a very solid year. Especially after a lackluster introduction to the MLB in 2016, it is great to see the improvement. Though he only played in 55 games for the Milwaukee Brewers in 2016, he hit in the low .200s.
However, enter Arcia in 2017. He played a lot better. a .277 batting average shows he is much more comfortable at the level. Having this kind of consistency, especially from a 23 year old, hopefully means there is no question for the future at the position.
It looks as if this will be true. Arcia posted a BABIP over .300. If he can continue to make that type of solid contact, he will continue to find success. That is really not the question for him going forward. The biggest question is where will he hit in the lineup?
Arcia stole 14 bases with an OBP over .300 last season. It would make sense that he find himself at the top of the lineup, regardless of lefty or right. Despite his .248 average against southpaws. There is no reason to think otherwise.
The question I have is not about righty or lefty. But can Arcia hit at the top of the Milwaukee Brewers lineup? Last season, he hit in the eighth hole. Of course, he did a good job. His batting average is .279 from that position.
In a perfect world, Arcia is the leadoff hitter. He fits many of the batting profiles that teams want in that slot. But he did not get a hit from that position in 2017. Okay, so it was one at bat. Bloggers can make bad jokes too.
In all seriousness, the numbers will say a lot about Arcia’s ability to hit at the top. His OBP over .300 is a great start. His low strikeout rate helps. But the number to come up a little bit is his 6.6 percent walk rate. He should not have to rely on his batting average as the main source of his ability to get on base.
There is no one else on the team who I really see as a leadoff guy besides Arcia. Unless an external player is brought in to play second, and they are a leadoff guy, the spot is for the young shortstop. It is that simple.
It is clear to me that Arcia will succeed in the leadoff role. Especially if he can work more walks. The number may also rise as he falls out of the bottom third. Overall, Arcia will be great hitting in the one hole.
At some point next season, Arcia will be in that leadoff spot. He cannot be hidden at the bottom of the lineup anymore. Teams know about him. He is primed to take over the position. It is ridiculous to think that the Milwaukee Brewers will spend another year keeping a nearly .300 batting average in the bottom third of the lineup.