Joaquin Arias Providing Surprising Value For For San Francisco Giants

By Thom Tsang
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

If you would have guessed that Joaquin Arias would be leading the San Francisco Giants in home runs and slugging over the last week …

Okay, that’s a little facetious, as there’s not really a whole lot to gloat about when he also happens to be the only player on the team over the last week (if you were wondering, yes, that’d make the Giants dead last in the bigs in that department). But even at a tiny 25-PA sample, the utility infielder is showing surprising value for the defending World Series champs at 0.2 fWAR over the last seven days — tied for the team lead.

He’d always had a decent hit tool even if he couldn’t draw a walk to save his life, but now that he’s really starting to get some regular at-bats with the team since returning from the DL, the 28-year old has been showing a eye-opening amount of pop in his bat which has made him a surprise contributor on the team.

And he’s been doing it whether he’s been starting or coming off the bench, too.

Having hit in six out of his last nine games, Arias may not be putting hits together in bunches, but he sure is making them count. he’s had seven hits in his last 29 at-bats, but six of them have been of the extra-base variety, with four doubles, a triple and a home run.

Talk about capitalizing, eh?

This recent run of strength includes three straight game in which he’s hit a double, and even if he hasn’t drawn a single walk, he’s also only struck out three times in that span, further demonstrating his ability to at least put the ball into play — sound familiar to another Giants player out there?

Not that Marco Scutaro is going anywhere any time soon, of course; aside from the fact that he’s signed for a couple more years, it’s really kind of an unfair comp anyway given the veteran’s superior on-base skill set.

But given that time isn’t on his side and the fact that his numbers at the plate are starting to really trend downwards, could there be a chance that Arias can be more than just a part-time player? After all, he did improve his defense to 1.8 fielding runs above average, and I mean, he has been a 0.6 fWAR player over just 84 games.

In comparison, Pablo Sandoval, who will enter his contract year in 2014, has been a 0.9 fWAR player though 111 contests …

Oh, just thinking aloud, that’s all.

Thom is an MLB writer for Follow him on Twitter @BlueJaysRant, or add him to your network on Google

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