Orlando Arcia has been on a nice roll at the plate for the Brewers since June began. But, is the slick-fielding youngster now worth a waiver wire add?
The Brewers are one of the best storylines of the first half of the season, as the rebuilding club sits atop the NL Central near the end of June. While there are multiple players that are producing at great clips for the club, Travis Shaw and Eric Thames especially, Orlando Arcia has done a solid job in his first full MLB season. But, is he now doing enough offensively to be a waiver wire add?
When Arcia was promoted near the end of last season, there was plenty of intrigue as he was lauded as a universal top prospect. There is little question in his defensive ability, check out this thing of beauty, but the offense was a work in process. He ended the season with a .219/4 HR/17 RBI/.631 OPS line over 55 games.
In terms of fantasy in 2017, Arcia was nothing more than a late-round flier in deep leagues. Arcia is still only 22-years-old, and fantasy owners just did not see him hitting his offensive ceiling this season. While that still holds more than likely true, his bat has picked up in June. He failed to hit any higher than .256 the first two months of the season, but so far this month he has a .304/1 HR/6 RBI/4 SB/.792 OPS line.
Brewers’ manager Craig Counsell stated that it has been small changes leading the turnaround, and that seems to be true. Looking at his batted ball data, he is still posting 17% LD, 46% Med and 28% Hard contact rates. All still solid lines, but he has made slight improvements in his approach, upping his contact rate to 76% and reduced his swing and miss rate by nearly 1.5%.
By swinging at better pitches in the zone, and seeing more fastballs in the eighth spot of the order, he is finding success as he is squaring the ball up more. His eight doubles so far in June are a career best and his HR was of the inside the park variety.
Arcia’s counting stats are hurt by hitting at the bottom of the lineup, but the speed and bat skill is there to post quality numbers as an MI waiver add. Getting on base more helps him steal more, it is pretty obvious, so if he can manage just close to the OBP he has now, he evolves into a 15+ SB threat as well. Speed is hard to find and MI continues to be a tough position to find quality from, but Arcia could be an answer to both.
Give him a closer look off the wire.