The Atlanta Braves chose to ride with Orlando Arcia as their starting shortstop to begin the season, now he may be a surprising candidate for the All-Star team. In this article, we break down why Arcia should be considered for the All-Star team.
Table of Contents
Arcia Steps Up & How Jeff Francoeur is like Glenn from Superstore
Many scoffed at the notion that the Braves would choose Orlando Arcia over Braden Shewmake and Vaughn Grissom as the full-time replacement for the departed Dansby Swanson.Embed from Getty Images
Not only has he played at another level this season with the bat and the glove, he has come up huge in the clutch on multiple occasions for the Braves. The high-pressure hitting was on full display as Arcia tied the game against the Mets with the legends looking on.
Jeff Francoeur continued stealing Hawk Harrelson’s home run calls all game. I love Frenchy, but even challenges from his legendary colleagues couldn’t get him to stop the theft. It was like Glenn in Superstore when he was told his name was not to be Steve.
Orlando Arcia’s Numbers in the Clutch
Here’s a look at Arcia’s numbers in the clutch this season so far.
- 2 outs, RISP: .360/.385/.360, 9-25, 8 RBI
- Late & Close: .375/.444/.667, 9-24, 2 HR, 6 RBI
- Tie Game: .355/.394/.484, 11-33, 1 HR, 1 HR, 7 RBI
- Within 1 Run: .318/.357/.500, 21-70, 3 HR, 12 RBI
The numbers continue to look good regardless of how you dissect the situation. in high leverage situations Arcia has slashed .345/.552/.958 going 10-29 with two walks, two homers, and 10 RBi.
In innings 7-9, Arcia is hitting .230 with a .404 OBP and a .460 SLG.
Orlando Arcia Compared to Dansby Swanson and Among All Shortstops
Arcia ranks fifth in average with .318. Dansby Swanson ranks 13th with a .254 average.
Orlando Arcia ranks 8th in wRC+ with 130. He is preceded by Corey Seager, Ezequiel Duran, Bo Bichette, Matt McLain, Rodolfo Castro, Wander Franco, and Geraldo Perdomo.
Arcia’s Ranks Among Shortstops with >150 PAs
Arcia’s .318 average is second-best to Bo Bichette’s .321.
His .470 slugging percentage is third-best behind only Wander Franco and Bo Bichette.
Arcia’s .842 OPS is second only to Bo Bichette’s .874.
Arcia leads all shorstops (at least 150 PAs) in OBP at .372.
It seems like Arcia is the king of the groundball single this year. The feeling that he hits a lot of grounders is backed up by the numbers. Arcia is second with a 58% groundball rate. Arcia appears to be finding holes this season. His K-rate is under 20% and his shortened swing seems like he is placing balls where he wants, particularly in clutch situations.
Orlando Arcia’s Defense in 2023
If you aren’t familiar with the difference in DRS and Def stats, please read our guide to advanced defensive metrics.
Orlando Arcia has a very solid number in four defensive runs saved this season. This essentially means he is four runs saved over the average shortstop in 2023. Since shortstop is one of the most demanding positions athletically, this is a really good number this early in the season.
On top of his fantastic 4 DRS, Arcia’s Def rating is good for 29th best in the entire league.
Arcia ranks sixth in defensive runs saved among shortstops despite having far fewer innings than any of the players in front of him.
- Dansby Swanson | 542.0 Inn | 9 DRS
- Wander Franco | 522.1 Inn | 9 DRS
- Jorge Mateo | 471.1 Inn | 6 DRS
- Ezequiel Tovar | 538.2 Inn | 5 DRS
- Anthony Volpe | 550.2 Inn | 5 DRS
- Jeremy Pena | 556.0 Inn | 4 DRS
- Orlando Arcia | 379.0 Inn | 4 DRS
Arcia is in the 90th percentile in outs above average (OAA) which goes against what many said would be his weakness. OAA measures a player’s ability to get to balls over other players at his position. To be this high at SS is quite an impressive feat!
A Summary: Why Orlando Arcia is an All-Star
Arcia is having the season of his life so far. Despite missing a decent chunk of time, he has made a serious argument for being selected to the All-Star team. His overall numbers, his batting average, his defensive metrics, and his ability to come up HUGE in clutch situations for the Braves this season leads me to believe there is a reasonable argument for Arcia to make his first All-Star squad.