At age 23, Oswaldo Arcia is already a name that Minnesota Twins fans find themselves more than familiar with. Signed as an amateur free-agent out of Venezuela, the power hitter has already spent the better part of two season with the Twins. Now in 2015, Arcia looks to break out and Twins Territory should be prepared to find out just how high his ceiling is.
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As is easily noticeable upon watching the big outfielder play, Minnesota wants Oswaldo Arcia in the middle of the lineup for his bat. While his defense in right field was suspect at best last season, the hope is that a move to left with fewer distractions will make for better play. Arcia may have some of his arm neutralized by the change, but his bat is ready, and that’s what matters.
In 2014, Arcia hit .231/.300/.452 for the Twins. Over just 103 games, Arcia blasted 20 home runs and drove in 57 runners. Having dealt with injury issues, as well as struggles at the plate a season ago, his numbers were not indicative of what could have been.
Enter Tom Brunansky.
One of the first coaches retained from former manager Ron Gardenhire‘s coaching staff was the Twins hitting coach. Last season, names like Kurt Suzuki, Danny Santana, Trevor Plouffe, and Brian Dozier all had solid seasons at the plate. For Oswaldo Arcia however, it wasn’t until extended time with Brunansky was put in that things began to click. Arcia played in 23 games with the Twins over the month of September, and to say the light bulb went on would be an understatement. The slugger hit .263/.33/.513 and launched six home runs while driving in 14 runs. Minnesota saw the production they expected out of the young Venezuelan upon signing him.
Over the course of the offseason, news for Oswaldo Arcia has been mixed. Playing in the Venezuelan Winter League, Arcia has hit, and done so well. The unfortunate flip side of the side situation is that he has also found himself injured. With lingering back issues that have plagued him for much of his major league career, the power stroke has been somewhat muted. For the Twins in 2015, Arcia will be at the mercy of his body, and it would appear to be the biggest thing holding him back.
As Bruno continues to work with the young 23-year-old, Arcia will have to make sure he is working with the team’s medical staff as well. There may be no player with a more exciting ceiling than Arcia in 2015, and if he can keep the injuries at bay, the steps forward should be monumental. We definitely could be looking at the Twins first contender to lead the major leagues in home runs.
Here’s to hoping for that clean bill of health.
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