In a series of upcoming articles, we will be grading individual Milwaukee Brewers players on their 2018 seasons. We will kick it off with shortstop Orlando Arcia and taking a look at how he fared this year.
Orlando Arcia had a roller coaster of a season in 2018 with a number of highs and some lows as well. Below I will grade Arcia on his regular season performance, postseason performance and an overall final grade for this year. Let’s take a look at how he did!
Regular season: C
Orlando Arcia was a staple at the shortstop position for the Milwaukee Brewers, even through his offensive struggles during the regular season. But some of this could be contributed to the Brewers issues with filling that position.
Over the first half of the season Arcia played in 66 games and struggled mightily. He had a slash line of just .197/.231/.251 and an OPS of .482. Because of this, Arcia had two different stints in Triple-A Colorado Springs during this portion of the season.
In both instances, Arcia was sent down to work on his swing mechanics. His vision at the plate can be poor at times and he will swing at pitches well out of the strike zone. Particularly pitches thrown way outside. Arcia has the tendency to try to pull a lot of pitches and this is when he gets into trouble. If he is able to be patient and take the ball to the opposite field, Arcia is much more successful at the plate.
After the All-Star break, Arcia started to slowly find his groove. Over the second half of the season he put up a slash line of .290/.320/.386 and had an OPS of .706. Arcia became a big contributor to Milwaukee’s postseason push at the end of the year.
In 2018, Arcia played in 119 games and had an overall slash line of .236/.268/.307 and an OPS of .576. He was also able to add three home runs, 30 RBIs and stole seven bases. Although he was able to perform much better in the second half, Arcia’s lack of consistency is why he received the grade he did for the regular season.
As I stated above, at the end of the season Orlando Arcia began swinging the bat much better and he got even hotter as the Milwaukee Brewers made their playoff run.
During the NLDS and NLCS Arcia had 34 plate appearances and recorded a slash line of .333/.353/.606 and an OPS of .959. Perhaps more impressive was the three home runs that Arcia hit, which tied his total for all of the regular season and that he finished with a 16 game hitting streak.
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The reason behind Arcia’s success was his approach at the plate. He did a very nice job of taking what the pitcher gave him and was hitting the ball to all parts of the field. Over the postseason Arcia struck out just four times, an uncharacteristically low number from him based on what we saw during the regular season. Even many of the outs that he did make were well struck off of the bat.
In what turned out to be a disappointing performance by the Brewers offense during the NLCS, Arcia was one of the bright spots. Had Milwaukee won the series, he was definitely in the running to be NLCS MVP.
This was the Orlando Arcia that the Milwaukee Brewers were hoping they would have seen during the 2018 season, but he was able to step up when the lights were shining brightest and has a lot of positives to build on heading into the offseason.
For a majority of the season, Arcia was below average at the plate and was not reaching his potential. For over half of the season he was batting below .200, striking out consistently, and was a dead weight at the bottom of the Brewers batting order.
But to his credit, in the month of September and into the playoffs Arcia played his best baseball and may have been the best bat on this team during the postseason run.
Although the playoffs are a much smaller sample size than the regular season, you can’t downplay the significance of what Arcia meant offensively to the Brewers over that stretch.
He was able to salvage what would have been a disappointing season and became a part of Milwaukee Brewers postseason folklore with Yuniesky Betancourt. Due to his contributions over the playoffs, Arcia was able to give his final grade a generous bump.