The Atlanta Braves‘ Orlando Arcia emerged as the winner in a three-way battle for the starting shortstop position this spring. Vaughn Grissom and Braden Shewmake found themselves optioned to Triple-A and Arcia signed a three-year extension on Opening Day.
Many fans were unhappy with the Braves’ decision to move ahead with Arcia. Fans clamored for the upside of the youthful players with much to prove.
Arcia is the proven veteran who presented the best overall option when you consider the glove and the bat. While his career numbers with the stick are very below average, that was before he was with the Braves. Arcia played 542 games with the Brewers and posted a 72 OPS+. In 106 games with the Braves he has a 102 OPS+. He was almost 30% below average in OPS with the Brewers and he’s been above average with the bat for the Braves! He presented a very solid glove at shortstop with experience as an everyday SS for the Brewers from 2017-2019, as well.
With seven years of major league experience at just 28 years of age, Arcia still has room to improve. He’s really just entering his prime. His bat is trending with upward momentum and his glove is already there.
Orlando Arcia Leads Braves Comeback Win in Home Opener
Through seven games, Arcia is batting .370 with a 1.080 OPS. He has two homers, two doubles, four runs batted in, and got the walk-off single to cap the comeback against the Padres last night in the home opener. This came after clobbering his second home run of the season in the third inning.
Then, the walkoff to win make the Braves 6-1 on the young season.
Arcia finished the night 3-4 with two hits, two runs, two RBI, and a walk.
Do you think Arcia can continue to be an above-average hitter for the Braves? Did he just need a change of scenery to help him reach his full potential? Is this just a 100-game fluke? Let us know in the comments!