Brewers shortstop Orlando Arcia has had a strong 2020 season. Remember the days when Arcia’s at-bats felt like guaranteed outs?
Thankfully, those days seem to be in the past as Orlando Arcia has showed impressive consistency on offense throughout the 2020 season. His slash line is .244/.303/.375 with an OPS of .678, all of which are improvements from the past two seasons. Albeit in a smaller sample size, this certainly marks an encouraging trend for the Brewers 26-year-old shortstop.
Take a look at this 3-run shot off Arcia’s bat from the recent series against KC:
As is clear from that swing, his approach has improved, resulting in more hits and higher exit velocity. Arcia has been known to swing at first-pitch fastballs often, however, this season he has been a little more patient, as evidenced by his percentage of first-pitch strikes being cut by 5% compared to 2018.
Heading into this pandemic-shortened campaign, it was clear that Orlando Arcia was not going to be simply handed the everyday shortstop position on a silver platter. When the club traded for Luis Urias and acquired additional infield depth in Eric Sogard and Jedd Gyorko, Arcia knew he would have more competition for at-bats than in previous years.
He has taken that challenge head-on since the get-go. In the first edition of Spring Training 2020, all the way back in February/March, Arcia was turning heads with his power stroke, hitting four homers in just a couple weeks of game action down in Arizona.
Flash forward to September and Arcia is in the lineup on an everyday basis, and has played in all but one game this year. Recently, he has been moved up in the lineup as well, hitting somewhere between 5-7th in the order, which marks a positive shift from his usual 8th or 9th.
The Brewers have needed someone to provide consistent offense this year, and although Arcia hasn’t provided a ton of it, he’s improved and come through in some big moments this year. In his last seven games, Arcia is hitting .261 with an .802 OPS.
Now, the question that remains is: is it sustainable?
Will Arcia fall back into his old habits or is this newfound consistency here to stay? Given Orlando’s fantastic playmaking ability on defense, combined with Luis Urias slumping here in September, I would expect to see Arcia in a Brewers uniform for at least another year or two.