Last season BCB readers (sic) participated in the annual rankings of the Brewers’ top prospects. Let’s see how those prospects improved (or not) their standings in the list.
#1: Orlando Arcia
We got this one right. Most Brewer fans expected Arcia to be a Brewer after the All Star break in 2016, perhaps as a September call-up. GM David Stearns brought him up in early August, making his debut in San Diego. It was perhaps timed to ease the fan reaction to the trade of Jonathan Lucroy and Jeremy Jeffress to Texas, but the smooth as silk defender was ready to play major league ball.
Orlando’s 2016 season in Milwaukee went about as well as expected: he is an excellent defender at short. His bat will remain a work in progress, but when he hits with discipline he shows flashes of good contact. His two month stat line isn’t impressive (.219/.273/.358; OPS of .631), but I’d project him out at .275/.320/.400 and not feel uncomfortable in doing so. Between AAA and the majors in 2016, he accumulated 29 doubles, 9 triples, and 12 homers. As he fills out he may develop double-digit home run power. Between the two levels he scored 80 runs and drove in 70. Arcia is still only 22, so obviously we are not seeing the finished product yet.
Orlando wasn’t aggressive on the bases early on, but did end up stealing 8 times without being caught. He committed 3 errors, and I thought that two of those should have been hits. His arm is strong and accurate, and he has large hands that make bare-handed pick-ups much easier. The Brewers have the potential for a solid combination up the middle if Scooter Gennett is moved, which would allow Jonathan Villar to take over at second base.
Orlando Arcia has already been replaced on the top prospect lists given that he no longer qualifies as rookie eligible. He will hopefully be at short for many years to come for the Brewers. Some future youngster will push him someday, but it is entirely possible that Arcia will be a major league shortstop for 15+ years. Here’s hoping that it happens in Milwaukee in its entirety.
Start thinking about where we will be going with this year’s rankings. There should be some spirited contests and it will be a stronger overall group than last year’s to vote from, which was one of the best classes of prospects the Brewers have had in years.
Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs