Arizona Diamondbacks: Oswaldo Arcia Still Has a Big League Future

Oswaldo Arcia Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Oswaldo Arcia Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports /

 Mike Hazen, general manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks, added Oswaldo Arcia to the outfield mix and filled an immediate need

On Tuesday afternoon, the Arizona Diamondbacks reportedly signed outfielder Oswaldo Arcia to a minor-league contract.

Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports first reported the agreement. Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic was told Arcia signed a minor-league contract. The team has not officially confirmed the signing.

In 2007, the Minnesota Twins signed Arcia as an amateur free agent. The 25-year-old native of Anaco, Anzoategui, Venezuela, made his major-league debut in 2013. Arcia played in 97 games and compiled 378 plate appearances.

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When he made contact, Arcia produced. He hit 14 home runs with 43 RBIs. His 101 wRC+ and .322 wOBA were above league average.

Home run power from the left side is extremely valuable, especially for a team like the Diamondbacks that owns a large surplus of right-handed hitters.

Arcia played 103 games for the Twins in 2014. He continued to display raw power, blasting 20 home runs in just 410 plate appearances. That season, Nelson Cruz hit 20 more long balls, but with 203 more trips to the plate.

In 2015, across 19 games, Arcia hit .276 with eight runs batted in. Despite being productive, the Twins demoted Arica to Triple-A Rochester, where he hit .199 in 79 games.

Last June, the Twins designated Arcia for assignment. Shortly thereafter, the organization traded their 2013 minor-league player of the year to the Tampa Bay Rays.

Arcia appeared in 21 games for the Rays, before being designated for assignment in August. He finished off 2016 with two National League clubs: the Miami Marlins (two games), and the San Diego Padres (14 games).

Swing and Miss Tendencies

If Arcia is going to earn at-bats at the big-league level, his alarming swing and miss tendencies have to improve. He is an all or nothing player that rarely puts the ball in play unless it is over the fence.

Since 2013, Arcia owns the third highest swinging strike percentage (SwStr%) in the majors (16.9). During that same period, Arcia’s 31.5 K% is tied for the eighth-highest in baseball with Chris Davis.

Also, Arcia swings at too many pitches outside of the strike zone, and he gets behind in the count a lot. That makes him vulnerable to breaking and off-speed pitches. Arcia has shown a tendency to pull the ball so that a refined approach would help.

Hazen wants to upgrade the Diamondbacks defense, but Arcia is counterproductive to that effort. He owns a -33 DRS and a -6 UZR for his career.

However, Arizona does need a left-handed bat off the bench, and his career 110 wRC+ against right-handed pitching could earn him a platoon, or at the very least, pinch-hit at-bats against righties. Keep this in mind: 38 of his 44 career home runs have come at the hands of right-handers.

But, some signs discussed above could warrant more development time in Triple-A. Regardless this is a high-risk move with a potential for a high reward if he can stay patient, get in more hitters counts and put the ball in play. Those home runs, especially with runners on, does not hurt either.

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Regardless, this is a minor-league deal that will not hurt the payroll, and he will compete for a spot in spring training.