Braves' Success Boosted by Orlando Arcia's Unexpected Production But It May Not Last

Atlanta Braves shortstop Orlando Arcia's game-tying homer is the latest example of an unexpectedly strong offensive season.
Atlanta Braves shortstop Orlando Arcia's game-tying homer is the latest example of an unexpectedly strong offensive season. / Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
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Don’t Look Behind The Curtain

Arcia has only 157 PA, while others are well over 200, He’s walked 12 times, putting him on a pace for about 55 in 500 PA this year, but he’s never walked more than 43 times in 546 PA.

His K rate is a career-low 17.6% (excluding 2020), 2.6% below his career average. That drop is probably due to a career-low chase rate that’s down 9%. He’s also hitting groundballs 56.% of the time, which may not become a problem with the end of extreme shifts, but he’s making less contact in the zone and hitting fewer line drives, and those statistics aren’t the reason I wonder if it will last.

Arcia’s hitting at a career-high .378 BAbip against a career-average of .291. His only season with a BAbip over .292 was 2018, when he had only 366 PA. His batting average on contact is a surreal .405 against a career average of .318 (my BACON calculations from FG numbers.)

That’s a Wrap

Maybe this is the year everything clicks for Arcia, and he becomes That Guy. Maybe it’s his career year like the one Bill Mueller had in Boston in 2003 or Chris Johnson’s 2013 for Atlanta. If that happens. I’ll congratulate him and open the bottle of ghost-pepper salsa I keep around to help me eat crow

Whatever happens at the plate, I expect Arcia to continue his good work at shortstop and help the Atlanta Braves reach another postseason and World Series.