The 2016 San Diego Padres season had many twists and turns. There were a lot of new faces on the squad, as the current regime attempted to put their own look on a franchise that has been mostly a disappointment throughout the years.
Names like Ryan Schimpf, Brad Hand, Ryan Buchter, and Luis Perdomo have stepped up and came virtually out of nowhere to become relevant members of the Padres’ future. That is exciting, as the franchise needs luck when developing players. Sometimes, players just fall into your lap and become vital members of the team.
One such player is Oswaldo Arcia, who was claimed late last season after the Marlins put him on waivers. It was Arcia’s third team to release him during the 2016 season, and all looked lost for the outfielder from Venezuela. At the age of 25, the Padres were wise to put in a claim on him even though they are stacked at the outfield position.
Arcia was simply the odd man out, though. He was DFA’d by the team as they finalized their 40-man roster before the Rule-5 draft. We did not get a chance to see his potential, but there is still a lot to like about this young man.
Arcia was signed by the Minnesota Twins in 2008 at the age of 17 out of Venezuela. He immediately came to the states and hit .294 in 61 games in rookie ball while hitting four homers and driving in 36 runs. He progressed well through the Twins’ system, and in 2012, at the age of 21, he produced a slash line of .320/.388/.535 in 124 games and 468 at bats while hitting 17 home runs and driving in 98 runs. The left-handed batter with a sweet swing looked poised to have a great career.
He made his major league debut in 2013 for the Twins, where he hit .251 in 97 games. The outfielder hit 14 homers and drove in 43 runs in his 351 at bats, but also struck out 117 times. That is his real issue. Arcia has a strikeout problem, and if he cannot fix that, he will never be a viable option for a major league team. As is the case with most strikeout hitters, the ball jumps off his bat when he squares it up. The ceiling is there, but the floor is also painfully obvious. In 2014, Arcia took a step forward in terms of power, as he smacked 20 homers and drove in 57 runs. He also struck out 127 times in 372 at bats and his slash line went down to .231/.300/.452. The 2015 season, he was lost, as he was injured most of the year.
The 2016 season was a crazy one for this young outfielder. He started the year in Minnesota, but also played in Tampa Bay and Miami before finishing the year in San Diego. He hit .116 in 43 at bats for the Padres. However, the writing was on the wall for Arcia. The team is just loaded with outfielders and he had to be released to make room for young talent on the 40-man roster. It is that time of the year. I like Arcia, he just wasn’t a fit for this current team. I expect him to find a home and be productive somewhere, probably in the American League where his horrible defense can’t hurt the club on a nightly basis. The man can swing the bat though.
Brett Wallace was another casualty of the system on Friday. The Padres will probably go with Alex Dickerson as Wil Myer’s backup at first base next season, so Wallace had no shot of a roster spot. By granting him his release early, he has a chance to catch on somewhere. In his two-year career with the Friars, Wallace hit 11 home runs and recorded a slash line of .224/.328/.380 in 313 at bats. He had his moments, but the 30-year-old was just not an option for the team.
The Padres will likely make some more moves as the Rule-5 draft starts and trading season begins. There are plenty of moves that the team can make. We will just have to wait and see what angle A.J. Preller and the Padres’ staff takes in potential trades.