Making the Grade: Ranking Left Fielders in the AL Central

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No. 5: Oswaldo Arcia, Minnesota Twins

Mar 13, 2015; Bradenton, FL, USA; Minnesota Twins right fielder

Oswaldo Arcia

(31) hits a rbi single during the third inning against the Minnesota Twins at McKechnie Field. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Oswaldo Arcia might possess the greatest raw power of the entire group — and this group contains a two-time Home Run Derby champion. 

Despite having just 372 at-bats last season, Arcia finished with a .220 isolated power mark, which was in the top-10 in the American League. He hit .231/.300/.452 on the season, clubbing 20 home runs and 16 doubled in limited at-bats.

Before the season, ESPN.com wrote:

"ESPN.com has a handy little tool called the Home Run Tracker that divides every home run into one of four categories: No Doubt, Plenty, Just Enoughs and Lucky Homers. Fifty percent of Arcia’s 20 dingers last year were of the “No Doubt” variety. That was the highest percentage in baseball, tied with Edwin Encarnacion (17 of his 34 homers were “No Doubters”). Additionally, only 10 percent of Arcia’s 20 homers fell into the “Just Enough” category (and none were “Lucky”). By comparison, big power bats like Nelson Cruz, Chris Carter and Jose Abreu all hit at least 33 percent “Just Enough” homers last year."

Unfortunately for Arcia, he plays in a more pitcher-friendly Target Field and his fly ball rate (41.9 percent in 2014) makes him a boom or bust type player, similar to former White Sox first baseman Adam Dunn. He swings and misses a ton, whiffing 31 percent of the time since 2013, and struggled mightily against left-handed pitching. There’s no doubting his power numbers, but there is far more too baseball — especially when 50 percent of your games are played in a stadium that is none-too-kind to left-handed power hitters.

But there’s plenty of reason for optimism, as Arcia is just 23 years old.

Arcia was a .314 hitter throughout his minor league career, including a steady .265 average against southpaws, and was significantly less prone to strike out. With that, however, he also boasted lower power numbers and drove in far fewer runs. While he may never be a .300-plus hitter in the big leagues, Arcia is certainly capable of drastic improvements to his average.

But it may cost him a few home runs in the process.

For now, though, he ranks at the bottom of the AL Central in what is a talent-filled group of left fielders.

Next: No. 4

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