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Milwaukee Brewers: 2018 Position Previews

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MILWAUKEE, WI - MAY 13: Manager Craig Counsell of the Milwaukee Brewers watches the game from the dugout against the San Diego Padres at Miller Park on May 13, 2016 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WI - MAY 13: Manager Craig Counsell of the Milwaukee Brewers watches the game from the dugout against the San Diego Padres at Miller Park on May 13, 2016 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Brewers
Milwaukee Brewers /

Shortstop

Presumed Starter

Orlando Arcia will be manning the Brewer’s shortstop position for a long time to come barring any trades or injuries. A former top prospect for Milwaukee, the 23-year-old came up in 2016 for about a third of the season. He finished the year with lackluster offensive numbers, an expected result considering the age and defensive mindset. However, his defense wasn’t as exceptional as it was touted, leaving fans worrying about his bust potential.

Arcia followed up his rookie appearance with a much better 2017. He still struggled at the plate, but not to the degree that he had in his initial call up. The shortstop finished with a .277/.324/.407 slash line while also contributing 15 home runs and 14 steals. These numbers are a solid baseline for such a young player and leaves room for improvement as he continues to adjust.

One area that Arcia should look to develop is his plate discipline. A walks-per-nine of 6.6% is below league average and would be crucial to developing him as an offensive commodity. Raising that rate a few percentage would allow the middle infielder to use the above average speed he possesses a lot more.

On the other side of the ball, Arcia is going to be a terror with his glove. Having a guy with his level of defensive abilities will help out the below-average pitching staff a lot. Thus, Arcia is the perfect fit for this current squad in Milwaukee. The shortstop is someone who will do more than is asked of him in the field while also developing his bat in a loaded lineup. In a few years Arcia’s name will be included in this new generation of elite, two-way shortstops.

Other Options

Similar to Travis Shaw, there will need to be an injury to push Arcia out of the starting role. Regardless, some of the names that come to mind on the depth chart are Hernan Perez and Mauricio Dubon.

Perez is a utility player. There’s not too much else to it. Only 26 years old, he’s solely a speedster on the base paths. He struggles at the plate, peaking at a .300 on-base percentage. He does provide a surprising amount of pop, probably reaching the 20 home run plateau given a full season of at-bats. He’s an extremely useful player, able to move from position to position without much trouble. However, he won’t be pushing anyone out of a starting role anytime soon.

Another player to keep an eye on is Mauricio Dubon. At 23 years old, the middle infield prospect just barely cracks the Brewer’s top 10 overall prospect rankings. He is an extremely capable runner on the bases, recording 31 steals in Double-A in just 304 at-bats. Yet his skills at the plate are a little worrisome.

He doesn’t get on base as much as one would want a player to do in the minor leagues. His low walk rate and low on-base percentage don’t project well in the majors. However, he does make consistent contact, finishing with strikeout rates below 14% for the past two years in Double and Triple-A ball. Although he has the potential to be a solid contributor in the steals department, he doesn’t have much else to become a household name in the majors.

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