With the era of pitching dominance in full force and with major league baseball moving further away from widespread steroid usage, the one statistic in the game that is becoming both increasingly rare and at the same time very valuable is the home run. Whereas just ten years ago there were a slew of 40-plus home run guys, in today's game you can almost count them on one hand. The result is that guys who possess the skill of hitting home runs are beyond valuable in today's fantasy baseball and in turn their draft prices every season are extremely expensive. Thus it becomes imperative that every winter we zone in on potential power sleepers who could supply much-needed pop for a terrific draft price. While it is certainly tough to find guys who qualify under this heading, one such player exists in the relative anonymity of Minnesota in the form of emerging slugger Oswaldo Arcia. Turning only 24 this May, the very young Arcia's calling card is his home run swing that resulted in a quietly impressive 20 home runs in 2014 during his first full season. As the Twins continue to look ahead in their rebuilding plans after such a long run of success prior, Arcia is being looked at their power-hitting outfielder of the present and the future. So with that said let's check in again on Arcia and find out what he can so as 2015 fantasy baseball gets closer.
First let's look at Arcia's stat total across the board from 2014:
In looking at those numbers, other than the home runs Arcia was a big yawn when it came to fantasy baseball impact. His .231 average was ugly, he drove in only 57 runs with those 20 bombs, and he failed to do anything in the stolen base realm. However the fact Arcia was able to crack 20 home runs at the very young age of 23 while playing half of his games in the unforgiving Target Field is very impressive. So let's start digging into the numbers.
As far as the power is concerned, this is going to be Arcia's biggest impact from now until he retires. Arcia has the kind of natural power that points to a future 30-home run slugger which could come very soon by the looks of it. With the home runs will go the RBI step-in-step and a 25-HR/80-RBI campaign is not out of the realm of possibility for 2015 as Arcia is now another year further in his development. Arcia is likely to move up closer to the cleanup spot this season and that could boost his runs total as well which right now is very mediocre. However when you consider that Arcia put up all those stats last season in only 372 at-bats, one can see just how much more attractive they will look when he gets 550 at-bats as he is expected to do in 2015. Thus it becomes to easy to see Arcia reaching that 25 home run and 80 RBI level for this season and maybe more if all breaks right. Of course there are drawbacks and that centers on his complete zero impact in the steals department which is not what you really want from your starting outfielders since speed is very abundant there. However the biggest issue for Arcia is his batting average which was barely usable last season at .231. The problem of course lies in his very high K rate which is something we see constantly with young sluggers. Arcia struck out 127 times in those 372 at-bats last season which is a terrible 31 percent K rate. That has to improve for Arcia to be more than an outfielder 3 but some more growing pains are likely as he is still young. If only Arcia can inch toward the .260 mark, his home runs and RBI will be so much more of boost for you. That is no given of course but Arcia has ever right to improve as he matures as a hitter this season.
When you put it all together, Oswaldo Arcia is the classic kind of late round pick that could pay off handsomely. It is young guys with upside like Arcia that you ALWAYS want to use your late round picks on instead of boring veterans who can only do down with their numbers. Arcia may not light the world on fire this season but 25 home runs is extremely valuable in today's game given what we have seen with home runs trending sharply south. Take a chance here as the power payoff is very promising.
2015 PROJECTION: .257 24 HR 71 RBI 59 R 2 SB