Oswaldo Arcia led the Twins in outrageous swings, wacky outfield plays and amazing hair. He also improved as a hitter in 2014 and he appears to have the potential to be a cornerstone offensive player. He is currently a man without a real position, as he has not shown the ability to be a reliable outfielder and he hasn't hit enough to be the long-term DH. Can Arcia harness his talent or will his Billy Mumphrey-esque unbridled enthusiasm be his ultimate downfall?
2014 Season Overview
Arcia was up and down in 2014. He batted .231/.300/.452. His batting average dropped about twenty points from 2013 and his OBP dropped about five points. Arcia also continues to rate as one of the worst defensive outfielders in baseball and the eye-test would confirm that data. He struck out at a very high rate and some of his swings can be described kindly as "adorable" and "aggressive" or harshly as "wild" and "uncontrolled."
But man, that .452 slugging percentage! Arcia has power. He hit 20 home runs in 410 plate appearances, a roughly 30-home run pace over a full season. His power is more impressive within the context of his age. Since 1995, only 75 players have slugged over .450 at age 23 or younger. Last season, only five non-Arcia players 23 and under slugged like Arcia: Mike Trout, Yasiel Puig, Nolan Arenado, Marcell Ozuna and...Danny Santana! Santana isn't a power hitter, but the other four could be described that way. So can Arcia. He's got the potential for elite power and he's already flexing it as a very young man.
2015 Role Projection
Right Field - Starter - Heart of the Order
2015 Season Prediction
I'm about as bullish on Arcia as one can be. I see a blossoming star and a potential emotional leader in the dugout. Arcia is about as exciting a Twins player as we've had in recent memory. He's wild, exciting, sometimes careless and generally carefree. I predicted 55 extra-base hits for Arcia in 2014 and I'll make that same prediction for 2015. I might even push it to 60.
Arcia will be entering his third season, he should be an unquestioned starter and he's just a lot of fun to watch. That might be qualitative data, but I'm still going to use it. His defense...will be fun when the Twins are winning.
A 90s Song for Oswaldo
R.E.M. - "King of Comedy"
It's great. It's relatively safe to say that Arcia will never hit .300 in the Majors. He doesn't make contact like a .300 hitter. He also is unlikely to be an elite OBP-guy, as he does like to swing. However, he should continue to grow in those areas as he matures and his power will keep pitchers from giving him too much to hit. I think Arcia is a major breakout candidate in 2015 and he could be a fixture in the Twins' lineup for a very long time.
Is he a keeper?
Oh goodness, yes. Arcia might be one of those guys who you curse in the 3rd inning when he misplays a ball in right, but then you cheer wildly for and cut your hair like when he hits a walk-off home run in the ninth. He's going to be a rollercoaster of a player until he fully matures. At his peak, I think Arcia could be a .280/.370/.500 hitter who absolutely fits the profile of a traditional #3 hitter. Giving up on Arcia at 23 because he plays like a 23-year-old would be completely unwise.
I love him.