Outfielder Oswaldo Arcia emerged as one of the top prospects in the Minnesota Twins’ organization in 2012, but with no experience above Double-A his big league debut did not look to be on the horizon. But opportunity knocked when Wilkin Ramirez went on paternity leave in mid-April and, after being sent back to Triple-A Rochester for a day, Arcia has been back with the Twins since April 17.
Arcia has forced himself into the lineup on a regular basis, with a slash-line (batting average/on-base percentage/slugging percentage) of .319/.356/.536 with three home runs and 12 RBI over 73 plate appearances after Friday night’s game against the Baltimore Orioles. He has been strong thus far in May, with a hit in all eight games he he has played and 14 hits in 32 at-bats (.438 batting average) overall. To this point the 22-year old has split time virtually equally between left field (eight games), right field and designated hitter (five games each) since being called up, but with Chris Parmelee not hitting well (.209, three home runs and 10 RBI in 91 at-bats this season) the rookie may begin to see more significant time in right field.
Arcia hit seventh against Baltimore on Friday night, and he has occupied that spot in the lineup in 15 of the 18 games he has started for the Twins. Keeping the pressure off a young player by hitting him lower in the lineup is not a bad idea, but manager Ron Gardenhire will have to consider bumping Arcia up the batting order if he sustains his current production.
Arcia has excellent long-term appeal in fantasy baseball leagues, and owners in keeper leagues should have him on their radar. As for the rest of 2013, some correction in his numbers can be expected as pitchers see him more and adjust to his aggressive approach, which creates some downside if a long slump comes.
But Arcia should continue to be in the Twins’ lineup regularly regardless, and he is currently available in over 90 percent of Yahoo! leagues. Those who are seeking outfield depth in AL-only and deep mixed leagues can do a lot worse than Arcia, and his upside potential makes him a more appealing waiver wire addition than a lot of other widely available options.
Brad Berreman is a contributing writer at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @bradberreman24.