Bring Up the Twins' Next Great Savior, Oswaldo Arcia
When your team is in the process of being swept by the Royals, sometimes a pick-me-up is necessary. No, I’m not talking about watching all three Rush Hours in one sitting (do not try this at home) or catching up on the last few episodes of Gossip Girl… although that’s a solid back-up plan.
Instead, let’s look at the numbers of Oswaldo Arcia of the Twins’ farm system. Arcia was named the franchise’s 2012 Minor League Player of the Year and is the reason many are optimistic about Minnesota’s future. Seriously, I just sit on his baseball-reference.com page and salivate sometimes.
Despite playing the shortened minor league schedule of 124 games, Arcia still had more extra base hits (61) than everybody on the Twins’ roster except Josh Willingham (66) last year. Granted, he was putting up these numbers between high-A ball and AA, but who cares? Don’t kill my vibe. The home runs are yet to come for Arcia, but he’s only 22, so that could still develop.
Arcia has a career .912 OPS in the minors in 380 games. The RBI production has been there, as well. He drove in 98 runs last year and has driven in .185 RBI/AB in the minors. In his first 20 at bats for AAA Rochester this year, Arcia has two doubles, two homers, six RBI’s and an OPS of 1.392.
Is it too soon to start the #FreeOswaldoArcia movement? NEVER!
Since the start of the 2010 season (when Arcia was 18 years old), he has a .390 OBP and a .328 average. In 69 games at AA New Britain last year, Arcia sported a .398 OBP, largely due to an increased patience. Arcia’s BB/K ratio of .324 from his first four seasons improved to .477 in 2012 (51 BB/107 K).
He’s a great guy to have near the top of the order, a spot where the Twins are currently receiving zero production. While Arcia doesn’t fit the typical lead-off mold with his average speed, his ability to get on base should make him a candidate once he gets the call.
Arcia has been batting third for Rochester, which is exactly where he should be with his power. However, once he has guys like Mauer, Willingham, and Morneau hitting behind him, his bat near the top could make that line-up dangerous. That said, Arcia’s presence in the majors would probably mean that Morneau and Willingham would be on their way out (which seems to be inevitable at this point).
It might be a bit much to ask Arcia to jump right in and save a line-up that is struggling to push across runs. But, why not give it a try? Aaron Hicks is 2 for 35 (.057 avg) with 16 strikeouts this year. The Twins need to give fans a reason to pay attention to a team that doesn’t plan to contend. Otherwise it’s back to creating fake Twitter accounts for Twilight characters for me, and ain’t nobody got time for that.