In the midst of another losing season, there hasn’t been much positive hype for the Minnesota Twins in 2013. Many fans and experts are considering the 2013 Twins to be an entirely wasted effort and are rather focusing on the potential that lies within the team’s incredibly talented farm system.
While it is exciting to think about the potential successes that will accompany elite prospects such as Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano, many are failing to appreciate a young talent already existing on the Twins’ active roster. Oswaldo Arcia, a 22-year-old rookie, has been mostly flying under the radar all season despite putting up some impressive numbers at the plate.
Though not an obvious standout, Arcia is showing promise at a young age. At only 22, Arcia’s performances at the plate have him in good company with other Twins greats who performed well as 22-year-olds. Arcia’s slugging percentage and OPS (on base plus slugging) is comparable with the successes had by Kent Hrbek, David Ortiz, Tom Brunansky and Joe Mauer when they were 22.
If Arcia follows suit, he is sure to become a dominant player in the future. With 10 home runs this season, Arcia ranks behind only two rookies in the AL for balls hit out of the park.
Though slightly impatient with a tendency to strike out, Arcia’s power is indispensable to the Twins after trading slugger Justin Morneau to the Pittsburgh Pirates. If his power is harnessed and developed correctly, Arcia could one day find himself occupying the four or five spot in the order.
A main reason for Arcia’s lack of recognition can be attributed partially to his defensive woes. Arcia has not yet proven himself as a consistent outfielder, and this has cost him some playing time. While Twins manager Ron Gardenhire struggles to find the right fit for the outfield, Arcia loses opportunities to gain experience while other players attempt to prove their defensive worth.
If the Twins are lucky, Arcia will develop further in the coming offseason and will return in 2014 with more confidence and the offensive power to be a clutch middle-of-the-lineup hitter. If his defensive skills also improve, the future will be very bright for Arcia, and he will likely find himself as a reliable member of an overwhelmingly unreliable Twins roster.
My advice to Twins fans is to keep your eye on this kid. Arcia has shown some true potential as a young rookie and will only improve as he matures into a second-year player.
Caroline Ponessa is a Minnesota Twins writer for RantSports.com. Follow her on Twitter @sweetCaro_____