Count me among the few that were actually disappointed that Sunday's Twins game was postponed, but as the song goes, the sun will come out tomorrow. Phil Miller of the Star Tribune reports that the Twins will promote outfielder Oswaldo Arcia to the major league club in time for Monday's game. The corresponding move will not be to demote center fielder Aaron Hicks to Triple-A Rochester, but rather to place fellow outfielder Wilkin Ramirez on the paternity leave list.
Arcia, who will turn 22 next month, has been one of the few Twins prospects that has been aggressively promoted throughout the system. He was on the typical Twins prospect path when he first started in rookie ball in 2009 as a 17-year old, and after spending 2 years there, started to make his ascent through the organization in 2011. It was that year when he was suddenly accelerated, going all the way from the rookie league to Double-A New Britain in just two years. He then started this season at Rochester, and a .414/.500/.793 triple-slash with 3 HR has convinced the Twins to give him a shot.
Granted, his stay in Minnesota likely won't last long because the paternity leave list only allows Wilkin Ramirez to be away for a maximum of three games. However, with Aaron Hicks appearing lost at the plate, there is a chance that an additional roster move could be made to keep Arcia in the big leagues, especially if he impresses the Twins brass over the next few days. One issue with keeping him with the Twins will be finding a spot for him to play, unless the Twins are content with giving up on Chris Parmelee early in the season for the second straight year.
So, what can we expect from Arcia? Well, the bad news is that he will likely strike out a lot. He's always had a strikeout rate at around 20% of his plate appearances, and even this year's hot start has been accompanied by him striking out nearly one-fourth of the time. But, he has shown the ability to not only hit for a high average, but also to hit for power. Oh, can he hit for power. His home run totals in the minors don't look good, but that's mainly because he's been hit by injuries quite often. If you ignore the homers and look at his isolated power (slugging percentage minus batting average), he's typically been at .200 or higher, which is very good. For reference, the average ISO in the majors for the past 6 years has always been within .005 points of .150.
I get the feeling that Arcia will get at least one start in right field in lieu of Chris Parmelee, who had been losing some playing time against lefthanded pitchers to Wilkin Ramirez. However, Arcia will not platoon with Parmelee while Ramirez is gone for the simple fact that just like Parmelee, Arcia hits lefthanded.
By the way, for those of you that care about such things, Arcia's jersey number is currently 78, but I wouldn't be surprised if he comes out of the Twins clubhouse sporting a different (read: smaller) number tomorrow night.