On Monday, Baseball Prospectus released their mid-season top-50 prospects. Excitingly, 20-year-old Orlando Arcia, a shortstop in the Brewers organization, was ranked number 31 on that list.
Today, Baseball America released their own top-50 list. A list where Orlando Arcia, Brewers prospect, was ranked the eighth-best prospect in America. Ahead of guys like Yoan Moncada and Jon Gray and Mark Appel and Raul Mondesi. Ahead of all but seven other prospects.
Orlando Arcia is a top-10 prospect when, in most recent years, the Brewers have had trouble even getting players from their farm system in the top-100.
Ryan Braun never was a top-10 prospect. Neither was Jonathan Lucroy. Or Carlos Gomez. The last Brewers prospect to be named to Baseball America's top-10 was Rickie Weeks, back in 2005. In fact, the Brewers rarely are able to crack the top-10 prospects nationwide. Here is a complete list of Brewers prospects named a top-10 prospect by Baseball America the last 25 years:
Rickie Weeks, 2005 (#8)
Rickie Weeks, 2004 (#5)
Prince Fielder, 2004 (#10)
Ben Sheets, 2001 (#5)
Tyrone Hill, 1993 (#10)
Greg Vaughn, 1990 (#9)
Others, like JJ Hardy, Yovani Gallardo and Alcides Escobar came close, but couldn't crack the top-10. Orlando Arcia has, though, and that's something wonderful and helps prove the organization is heading in the right track to rebuilding a farm system into a strength.
Of course, top prospects are no sure thing. Alcides Escobar was one of the best Brewers prospects in the past decade as far as rankings go and, though he's turned into a solid regular, nobody would call him a star. Others, like Jesus Montero or Travis Snider, struggle to find consistent playing time. On rare occasions, they don't even make it to the majors.
However, Baseball America's top-10 prospects over the years have consistently turned out to be pretty danged good. All Stars, often. Superstars, on occasion. Above-average regulars much more often than not. Take a look at the historical top-10s -- for the most part, Baseball America has done a great job choosing players who would go on to find major league success.
And Arcia deserves it, too. Baseball America calls him the best player in the Southern League at just 20 years old. His defense is his calling card, with some believing him to be among the very best defensive shortstops in the minors right now. In the past two years, his bat has caught up to that. In 2014, he hit .289/.346/.392 with 31 stolen bases for High-A Brevard County as a 19-year-old.
That performance prompted Baseball America to name him the 94th best prospect in the nation prior to 2015. And in 76 games this year for Double-A Biloxi, Arcia has hit .314/.355/.459 with 10 swiped bags. The gap power is starting to show up which, accompanied by his speed, has allowed him to pick up 31 extra base hits so far. That performance launched Arcia up 86 spots on Baseball America's prospect lists.
Some of that, naturally, has to do with the influx of top prospects being promoted to the majors this year. Guys like Kris Bryant, Carlos Correa, Addison Russell, Joc Pederson, Francisco Lindor, Miguel Sano, Byron Buxton and on and on and on. 2015 has been the year of the call-up, and that certainly has helped Arcia climb prospect lists a bit.
Still, the Brewers have a top-10 prospect. And that's extremely exciting.