The top of the Brewers system is generally seen as a two-man horse race between Arcia and Tyrone Taylor. I ended up deciding to go with Arcia for the top spot. The 6’ 165 pound shortstop has been quite impressive thus far.
Despite being known as a glove first player, Arcia actually hit very well in 2014, even though he was 3.6 years younger than the Florida State League (which is where he spent the entire season) average. He was 4.3% above league average for wOBA, ending the year at .343, accompanied by a 113 wRC+. This was coming off the heels of what some would call a down 2013 with the bat, although I highly suspect his .268 BABIP had something to do with it. He’s shown speed, stealing 31 bases in 42 attempts in ’14, which could actually help explain his somewhat larger BABIP (.326), as faster guys tend to beat out infield hits and some balls in play that others cannot. The power hasn’t really shown up yet, as he only slugged .392 with a .102 ISO in ’14, although a report from Carson Cistulli from Fangraphs from the Caribbean Winter League that Arcia played in showed him totaling 7 HR in 151 PA, so there may be some signs of growth in the area for the future.
With all that being said about his offense, defensively is where Arcia really shines. Reports on the 20 year old’s fielding ability range from great to elite. His range and hands have specifically been mentioned as stand out tools. Of any non-catcher or first baseman (both receive more opportunities, thus skewing the numbers), Arcia’s Range Factor per Game (RF/G), takes two of the top three spots on the Brevard County roster at two separate positions. He tops the list at shortstop with a 4.97 RF/G, and takes third place overall at second base, coming in at 4.64. Clearly Arcia not only has the ability to stick at shortstop, but he should excel there.
Arcia will open up the season at Double A Biloxi. It’s unlikely that he gets anything more than a cup of coffee this year, but with Segura’s struggles in ’14, the big leagues may come sooner rather than later for Arcia. If Segura bounces back and some position shuffling happens, Arcia, Segura, and Gennett could make for a dynamic 3/4 of the Brewers’ future infield.