Over the past few weeks, I’ve been able to observe touted Milwaukee Brewers prospect Orlando Arcia over several games with the team’s low-A Midwest League affiliate in Appleton, Wisconsin. With several intriguing tools and no screaming weakness currently hampering his game, there’s a lot to like about the soon-to-be 19-year-old.
Here, I offer my own scouting report on the youngster.
Measurables: 6’0″, 165 lbs.
Acquired: Signed as undrafted free-agent on Oct. 22, 2010
Brief: Physically raw frame with above-average athleticism; room for muscular development in lower half and torso. Wise beyond years at the plate; good pitch recognition skills and above-average knowledge of the strike zone. Plus-plus defensive range at shortstop; soft hands and strong arm help turn double plays with ease. Makes hard-hit choppers up the middle look easy.
Body: Smallish, lean, skinny frame. Room to realistically pack on around 15-20 more pounds of muscle, especially to lower half. Will need to become stronger in the wrists/forearms to help the bat. Above-average natural athleticism; good jumping ability in the field and decent acceleration on the bases.
Bat: Still a long way from reaching physical maturity, Arcia’s isn’t able to tap into much power yet. Once he becomes stronger in the wrists and forearms he should be able to generate more bat speed — fringe-average right now — through the zone and at the point of contact and easily hit double-digit home runs at the next level. He isn’t there yet, though, and probably won’t be there for a few more years, so he’s essentially a gap-type hitter right now.
Approach/Plate Discipline: As I mentioned earlier, Arcia is clearly wise beyond his years at the plate with respect to plate discipline. He has an advanced knowledge of the strike zone, consistently seeing the ball to each side of the plate wait to see the first strike go by. Like many his age, he hasn’t been exposed enough to legitimate breaking and offspeed offerings and he’ll need to work on laying off those pitches when located out of the zone. ‘Patient’ and ‘selective’ are both adjectives I’d use to best describe Arcia’s approach.
Swing analysis: Simple pre-swing mechanics. Feet just wider than shoulder-width apart, upright torso, hands high and in ideal position to promote short-to-the-ball swing. Sets up deep in the box and begins with subtle front-leg load; sometimes adds extra a toe-tap on offspeed pitches. Would like to see him get his front foot down a tad sooner to promote more explosive firing up hips and lower-body, as right now he’s lunging at the ball more than you’d ideally like, which limits his power and ability to adjust/lay off offspeed stuff. Upper and lower body are in tune, overall, though with room for improvement. One thing I do like is the pre-swing load with his hands; they drift away from the starting position but return to ideal position near his right-ear to further promote a compact swing, which helps him adjust to hard stuff that may catch him by surprise. He has good barrel control through the zone, as well, and fluid wrists that help generate a smooth stroke. Considering his advanced approach, growing frame and quick, to-the-ball bat path, Arcia’s hit tool has a ton of projection left on it and he should be able to hit for an average around the .270 mark.
Field/Arm: Arcia’s best and most intriguing tool when he joined the system as a 16-year-old was his glove. That hasn’t changed. Good natural instincts and plus range allow him to make up-the-middle and through the shortstop/third base hole ground balls with ease. Soft hands and a ridiculously versatile arm allow him to turn double plays with ease; adjusts to sliding base-runners at an advanced level. Overall, his glove grades out as plus-average right now with little room for improvement other than working further on fundamentals, which he already has a good grasp of.
Run: Natural athleticism helps him get out of the box fairly quick and make good turns from first to second base. Doesn’t possess plus-speed when trying to steal bases but should be considered major-league average right now. Improving his reads off the bat on the bases will help his speed play up in the future. Will probably steal around 20-25 bases per season at the next level.
Player comp: Everth Cabrera
MLB ETA: Should challenge for up-the-middle infield spot by 2017