The Milwaukee Brewers announced today that they will promote shortstop prospect Orlando Arcia from Triple-A to the major league roster. Arcia is one of the top prospects in baseball; let's take a look at his background and possible future.
Arcia was signed out of Venezuela as a free agent in 2010.
From the 2015 and 2016 editions of the Baseball Prospect Book
Orlando Arcia, SS, Milwaukee Brewers
Bats: R Throws: R HT: 6-0 WT: 175 DOB: August 4, 1994
He’s developed into a well above-average, if not excellent, defender at shortstop, more reliable than most infielders his age but also featuring plus range and a good arm. Offensive development remains in question. He makes contact and uses his speed well on the basepaths, but he is aggressive and lacks power. He did boost his extra base thump a little last year and he is young enough to develop much further. I will go with an optimistic Grade B.
I’m glad I went with optimism here, as Arcia broke out offensively with an impressive season in the Southern League, posting a +15 percent OPS, wRC+ 126, both contextual marks very good, especially for a 20/21 year old shortstop in Double-A. He is getting stronger and his power is increasing. He continued to use his speed well on the bases. His defense took another step forward, to the point where he is considered a potential Gold Glover, combining unusually good reliability with plus range, plus arm strength, and plus hands. Oh, and plus instincts, too. If you want to nitpick you can focus on his low walk rate and generally aggressive hitting approach, but he doesn’t strike out much and that gives him a good chance to adjust. He could use a year of Triple-A to put the finishing touches on his game but he should be ready by 2017 at the latest. Grade A-.
Arcia has played 2016 with Triple-A Colorado Springs in the Pacific Coast League, hitting .267/.320/.403 with eight homers, 15 steals, 29 walks and 77 strikeouts in 404 at-bats. This isn't very good for the offensive context and his wRC+ is not nearly as good as last year, currently sitting at a below average 85. He's had lots of trouble on the road, slashing just .231/.269/.330 compared to a .307/.372/.484 in his friendly home park.
Although production is down, Arcia continues to impress PCL observers with his combination of speed, athleticism, occasional pop. and strong instinctive play at shortstop. He's ready for the majors defensively, but in the short run some troubles with the bat should be anticipated. In the medium and long terms he should settle in as something like a .260-.280 hitter with doubles power.