Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Fresh Fantasy Faces for '14: Oswaldo Arcia

Oswaldo Arcia isn’t exactly a fresh fantasy face as he logged 378 MLB plate appearances in 2013. But with the Minnesota Twins being so abysmal he flew largely under the fantasy radar. That should change in 2104.

The 22-year-old Venezuelean didn’t receive a lot of fanfare, despite hitting .320/.388/.539 between High-A and Double-A. It’s easy, I suppose, to get overlooked when you are a prospect in the same system as Miguel Sano, Byron Buxton, Alex Meyer, Eddie Rosario, Kohl Stewart and Jose Berrios.

It’s easy also to overlook last year’s MLB line of .251/.304/.430 but overlook Arcia at your peril, my fantasy baseball playing friends. Arcia has a powerful swing and he’ll get plenty at at bats in 2014 to display it. In fact, he had eight home runs in 36 games after his most recent recall, including three at Target Field, which has that high right-field wall.

How well did Arcia’s power display in his limited exposure as a rookie? Let’s look at some numbers:

FB Distance
Oswaldo Arcia Batted Ball Profile303 feet40.6%14.7%6.1%31.0%

That 303 ft. fly ball distance was 14th in baseball. Not bad for a 21-year-old rookie, huh? We’re not talking about Giancarlo Stanton or Chris Davis here, but it’s clear that Arcia has a good deal of power potential.

His home run per fly ball (HR/FB) percentage of 14.7% sticks out as low when you factor in just how far Arcia launched the ball. Is it guaranteed to rise? No. But there is certainly upside there for growth up to about 20% HR/FB. That combined with Arcia’s 40.6% fly ball (FB) percentage would project Arcia out to at least 25 home runs.

Arcia has demonstrated the ability to hit for higher averages  in the minors and he’s currently tearing it up in the Venezuelan Winter League, but even if power is the only thing Arcia provides, fantasy owners will be happy.

Fantasy owners also shouldn’t expect a higher average soon anyway. His plate discipline needs to improve first. His 31% K rate is much too high and his walk rate too low. But he’s always shown vastly better rates in the minors, so it’s reasonable that he inches toward an 8% walk / 25% K rates.

Partnering with Smart Fantasy Baseball, here are Arcia’s early 2104 projections:

Oswaldo Arcia: Early 2014 Projections

Oswaldo Arcia5045626633.272.330.4857%26%

Look, I’m not saying players like Nelson Cruz, Jayson Werth, Alfonso SorianoCarlos Beltran, and Yoenis Cespedes aren’t better fantasy options than Arcia, but the gap between him and those other players isn’t the Grand Canyon either. It’s more like Goony Otter Creek, where I used to play with my cousins.

Heck, once my cousin Jackie got a good run at it and jumped clear from one bank to the other. Of course, he also came up short a couple of times and got wet clear up past his knees, but I’m really getting off topic here.

The point is that Oswaldo Arcia is a legitimate power prospect. 25 homers is reasonable for him and if he hits 30 home runs as early as next season, I wouldn’t be remotely surprised.

Tags: MInnesota Twins Oswaldo Arcia Prospects

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